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Xiaomi will announce the Mi 9 on the same day as the Samsung Galaxy S10

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Xiaomi is well known as a leader in the entry-level and mid-range segment of smartphones. But, with recent products like the Mi MIX series as well as the Mi 8 (including the Explorer Edition with the transparent back), Xiaomi has been inching closer to the textbook definition of “premium.” Its Mi MIX 3with a sliding mechanism is a classic example of this phenomenon.

The Chinese giant is now set to unveil yet another flagship – the Mi 9, which it is claiming to be the best-looking Xiaomi smartphone so far. Xiaomi officially confirmed that the launch will take place on February 20. Curiously, that’s the same date as Samsung’s Unpacked 2019 event, where Samsung will be launching its headliner Galaxy S10 series.

Based on the event teaser shared by Samsung recently, we might also get a chance to see the foldable Galaxy F. So, by choosing the same launch date for its flagships as Samsung’s, Xiaomi might have risen up to a challenge, even dividing fans to choose between the two brands, especially in Asia.

The two events, however, will be taking place at separate locations. While the Mi 9 will be launching in China, Samsung has confirmed that the Galaxy Unpacked event will be held in San Francisco, California, adding a 16-hour time difference. This could, hopefully, reduce some confusion.

Since the Mi 9 launch announcement comes after Samsung had already confirmed its event, this is clearly not an error or a miscalculation. Furthermore, Xiaomi’s choice of codename for the Mi 9, which can be translated to “Battle Angel”, suggests that the Chinese giant is prepped up for a fierce battle.

There is currently no information on Xiaomi launching the Mi 9 in markets other than China, which is likely to be the most vital battleground between the two flagship series. While Samsung is among the most influential foreign brands in the country, it ranks seventh in terms of smartphones shipments. Xiaomi, on the other hand, comes in at the fourth position.

Coming back to the Mi 9, based on previous leaks, we learned that the Xiaomi flagship could feature a triple camera setup on the back. This has been confirmed by a new teaser published by the company, as shown above. The device can also be expected to sport a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 mobile platform and possibly an under-display fingerprint scanner. A few weeks ago, Xiaomi co-founder Lin Bin also hinted at the possibility of a Mi 9 with a translucent back, perhaps the Explorer Edition.

On the other hand, the Galaxy S10 series, including the S10+ and the relatively affordable S10e, have been routinely leaked. The most recent leak reveals the complete camera specifications and features of the three smartphones. Meanwhile, earlier speculations and tips have contributed information including different colors, up to 12GB RAM, an inbuilt cryptocurrency wallet, and even the truly wireless Galaxy Buds which will be launching alongside the flagships.

While February 20 is not too far, we’ll keep you updated with whatever comes our way ahead of the launches of the two leading smartphone series from Xiaomi and Samsung.

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Reviews

My Samsung Galaxy Fold screen broke after just a day

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Look closely at the picture above, and you can see a small bulge right on the crease of my Galaxy Fold review unit. It’s just enough to slightly distort the screen, and I can feel it under my finger. There’s something pressing up against the screen at the hinge, right there in the crease. My best guess is that it’s a piece of debris, something harder than lint for sure. It’s possible that it’s something else, though, like the hinge itself on a defective unit pressing up on the screen.

It’s a distressing thing to discover just two days after receiving my review unit. More distressing is that the bulge eventually pressed sharply enough into the screen to break it. You can see the telltale lines of a broken OLED converging on the spot where the bulge is.

Whatever happened, it certainly wasn’t because I have treated this phone badly. I’ve done normal phone stuff, like opening and closing the hinge and putting it in my pocket. We did stick a tiny piece of molding clay on the back of the phone yesterday to prop it up for a video shoot, which is something we do in every phone video shoot. So perhaps a tiny piece of that snuck into a gap on the back of the hinge and then around or through its cogs until it lodged in between the screen and the hinge. It’d be sort of like Charlie Chaplin getting caught in the gears in Modern Times.

Or maybe something got in another one of the little gaps somewhere else. Or maybe it was pieces from the hinge itself breaking loose and working their way up into the screen. I don’t know. I just know that the screen is broken, and there was no obvious proximate cause for the bulge that broke it. I certainly haven’t used it on a beach or shook it in a bag of chips or anything wild. Just normal use.I DON’T KNOW WHAT HAPPENED; I JUST KNOW THE SCREEN IS BROKEN

We’ve seen worries about scratches on expensive phones and debris breaking the keyboard on expensive MacBooks, but a piece of debris distorting the screen on a $1,980 phone after one day of use feels like it’s on an entirely different level.

I reached out to Samsung right away to get a statement, but it took about 24 hours for the company to put one together. Here it is, and the gist is that Samsung is looking into our unit and also warning users not to try to peel off the protective layer on the top of the screen.

Also, I have, however, received a replacement review unit from Samsung. I think the first one is on a jet to South Korea for Samsung’s engineers to take apart and diagnose.

By the way, it appears I’m not the only reviewing the phone who has had a problem with the screen. Here’s Steve Kovach:

Mark Gurman of Bloomberg also broke his, but that’s perhaps because he removed a protective layer that looks like a screen protector, but definitely isn’t meant to be removed.

And here’s Marques “MKBHD” Brownlee confirming he, too, had to get a replacement unit after peeling off the outer layer (which, again, wasn’t our issue):

It looks like retail units of the Galaxy Fold will include a warning about not removing the protective layer, but review units don’t seem to have included this one:

Like everybody else, I said in my original hands-on with the Galaxy Fold that I absolutely am able to see the crease between the two sides of the screen. But when I’m using the phone, I don’t actually notice it much. It’s easy to talk about it as a small first-generation compromise you have to make for what is otherwise a wonder of engineering: a tablet that folds in half.

I took a photo in my hotel room when the bulge first appeared. The next morning, that same bulge finally broke the screen.

Another thing people are worried about is the plastic screen scratching or picking up nicks easily. There are already a couple of minor dings on my unit, but they’re minor enough that I didn’t see them until our photographer zoomed way in to show them to me. If you look closely at the edges of the screen, there’s a sort of built-in screen protector on the front of the device. Samsung calls it a “polymer layer.” It is not designed to be removed. (Please don’t try it if you get your hands on a Fold.)

But while the crease and the nicks feel like compromises you could live with, a mysterious bulge that breaks the screen is something else entirely — especially one that appears just a day after pretty normal use. It’s a problem that is unacceptable on a phone that costs this much.

Every phone with movable parts is going to have more points of failure than a fully sealed, static phone. So it’s natural to say that you need to treat it with more care than usual. Before I saw this bulge, my impression was that this phone was much more durable than I expected. The hinge always felt solid and well-built. That impression of (relative) durability is obviously as broken as the flexing screen now.

If I’m right and it’s debris, it means that not only do you need to treat your phone with care, but you also have to worry about stuff getting in underneath the screen. If I’m wrong and it’s some kind of defect in the hardware, well… then we’re in entirely different territory. Either way: yikes.

Hopefully Samsung lets us know the results after it takes my original review unit apart to see what happened.

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Hardwares

Honor 20i with 32MP selfie camera, triple rear cameras and Kirin 710 launched for 1,599 Yuan (~$238)

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Huawei’s sub-brand Honor has announced a new smartphone called Honor 20i through an unveil event today in China. The USP of the phone is that it comes with a 32-megapixel selfie camera. The smartphone comes with other attractive features such as high screen-to-body ratio and triple rear cameras. Here is all the information on its specifications, features and price.

Honor-20i-colors

Design and Display

The Honor 20i that sports a 3D glass rear measures 154.8 x 73.8 x 8mm and weighs 164 grams. It houses a 6.21-inch IPS LCD panel with a u-shaped notch for the front camera. The smartphone supports full HD+ resolution and 19.5:9 aspect ratio. The chin of the device is a bit thick, but rest of the bezels are slim. This allows the phone to offer a screen-to-body ratio of more than 90 percent. The TUV Rheinland certified protects eyes from harmful blue light.

Selfie and Triple Rear Cameras

The 32-megapixel camera with f/2.0 aperture can be found inside the front notch of the Honor 20i. The smartphone offers with various face beautification features. The 4-in-1 pixel binning technology makes it possible for the Honor 20i to capture better selfie shots in low-light condition. Moreover, it also carries support for screen flash.

The AI powered triple camera setup available on the backside of the Honor 20i includes a 24-megapixel primary sensor with f/1.8 aperture, an 8-megpaixel ultra wide-angle lens and 2-megapixel depth sensor. The triple cameras offer features like nigh scene mode, anti-shake, super slow-motion video shooting, professional mode, panorama and portrait mode.

Performance and Other Features

The mid-range Kirin 710 SoC is present under the hood of the Honor 20i. The SoC is assisted by up to 6 GB of RAM. The highest configuration model comes with an internal storage of 256 GB. There is a microSD card slot on the device for more storage. The 3,4,000mAh battery fuels the smartphone, but there is no support for fast charging.

The Honor 20i features a rear-mounted fingerprint scanner. It can be used for authenticating WeChat payments. The smartphone also features face unlock. Honor claims that the handset stores face data on an inbuilt chip for better security. The EMU 9 based Android 9 Pie OS comes loaded on the device. There is Game Turbo 2.0 for optimized gaming experience. The other features of the phone include dual 4G VoLTE, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.2, GPS, microUSB 2.0, GPS and 3.5mm headphone jack.

Honor 20i Price and Release Date

Here are the variants of the Honor 20i along with their pricing:

  • 6 GB RAM + 64 GB storage – 1,599 Yuan (~$238)
  • 4 GB RAM + 128 GB storage – 1,599 Yuan (~$238)
  • 6 GB RAM + 128 GB storage – 1,899 Yuan (~$283)
  • 6 GB RAM + 256 GB storage – 2,199 Yuan (~$328)

The three color variants of the Honor 20i are Gradient Blue, Gradient Red and Black. The retail box of the device includes a free TPU case among other items. The pre-sale of the phone will begin at 10:08 AM on April 18 in China. The same phone is expected to release as Honor 20 Lite in European markets.

There is a limited version of the phone called Honor 20i AAPE It will come with 2,199 Yuan (~$328) pricing and will arrive with 6 GB of RAM and 256 GB storage. It will be available for purchase in May.

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Hardwares

HP launches new laptops and workstations with built-in malware protection

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HP Sure Sense leverages deep learning AI to prevent malware

In an effort to better protect its users from today’s growing cyber threats, HP has introduced a number of new laptops and workstations which have its HP Sure Sense technology built-in.

HP Sure Sense uses deep learning artificial intelligence (AI) to detect malware in real time and the technology can even detect malware that has yet to be seen before.

In addition to detecting and preventing zero-day threats, Sure Sense also utilizes behavioral detection to prevent ransomware activity with minimal impact to system performance.

Global Head of Commercial Personal Systems at HP, Andy Rhodes explained in a press release how the company’s new devices are helping build the office of the future while simultaneously empowering IT departments, saying

“To achieve a culture of innovation, companies everywhere are focused on driving employee engagement and satisfaction, and the technology they deploy plays a significant role. We are helping businesses build the office of the future by delivering superior technology experiences that empower and delight today’s workers, while providing IT departments next-generation endpoint security to confidently face the threats of tomorrow.” 

New laptops and workstations

In addition to Sure Sense, HP’s new laptops and workstations will include brighter displays, Wi-Fi 6 wireless networking and new processors from Intel.

The HP EliteBook x360 830 G6 is the world’s brightest business convertible laptop according to the company and it can even be viewed clearly while outdoors.

For users who need the fastest network speeds, the HP EliteBook 800 G6 Series is the first mainstream business notebook with up to gigabit-class 4G LTE which will offer improved connectivity and even long-range mobility thanks to the inclusion of a SIM card slot.

HP also introduced the HP Zbook 14u and 15u for power users that don’t want to compromise in terms of performance, connectivity and security.

HP Sure Sense is expected to be available in May and if the technology is successful at preventing malware and ransomware, we will likely see other manufacturers follow suit.

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