Xiaomi revolutionized wireless charging last month, and now it looks like it might be poised to do the same thing to smartphone photography. The company has developed new camera technology, including a retractable wide-aperture lens that can increase the amount of light input by up to 300% for clearer, sharper photos — and much like traditional point-and-shoot cameras, the lens retracts into the phone body when not in use.
Now that more people are staying at home these days, augmented reality has the potential to become even more important. AR may not be as novel as it once was, but that doesn't mean Google isn't continually expanding its ARCore SDK to more devices to enable them to seamlessly access AR experiences like its virtual zoo.
Fast charging has been one of the key battlegrounds in the smartphone wars in recent years, and Xiaomi has often been at the forefront. Last year, the Chinese OEM announced that it was working on a 100W wired charger that could fully fill a 4,000mAh battery in just 17 minutes. It's now going one step further with 80W Mi Wireless Charging that takes almost as little time to do the same job sans wires.
Xiaomi’s been busy this year. In addition to launching a plethora of Xiaomi and Redmi-branded phones, the company’s turned Poco into its own sub-brand, starting with the Poco X2 in February, followed by the Poco F2 Pro in May, Poco M2 Pro in July, plus the Poco X3 NFC and Poco M2 in September. What started off as a single, $300 handset with flagship specs in 2018 — the Poco F1 (or Pocophone F1) — is now an entire product line.
Granted, Xiaomi’s mostly re-branding Redmi devices here, with Poco handsets getting a few hardware and software tweaks like unique memory and storage configurations, and a bespoke launcher.
Ever since the US tightened the noose on Huawei with various extensions of the trade ban, the Chinese manufacturer is in deep trouble, potentially left off without vital phone components. That appears to be the reason why the company might be working on restructuring its business and refocus its efforts on its own higher-end lineup. Reuters reports that Huawei is looking to sell parts of its subdivision Honor to Digital China, Xiaomi, or TCL.
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM around, bringing new versions of Android to abandoned phones, and a stock-like experience (with or without Google software) to newer devices. The project has mainly been working on support for Google Pixel phones lately, but now a handful of other devices have joined the official build roster.
Xiaomi is known for its cheap phones, whether they come under its own brand name or its Redmi and Poco sub-brands. Its devices provide great hardware with decent software support for pretty low prices. Today, the company is launching 3 new phones in the Mi 10T series, the Mi 10T, Mi 10T Pro, and Mi 10T Lite.
One of the very first Xiaomi devices to officially land in the US was the Mi Box (known as the Mi Box 3 elsewhere) back in fall 2016. While the original model has already been replaced by the Mi Box S in the States, Xiaomi hasn’t stopped pushing newer updates to its nearly four-year-old box. Now the company's rolling out Android 9 Pie to those enrolled in the beta program.
While most of us know Xiaomi for its extensive smartphone lineup, it maintains an even bigger ecosystem of IoT products back home. Looking specifically at smart speakers, Xiaomi does have a bunch on offer, but they all use a local voice assistant that only speaks Chinese. One of those speakers is now making an international debut as the Mi Smart Speaker with Google Assistant and Chromecast on board.
Xiaomi's Mi Band series has won fans by offering a lot of fitness features for not a lot of money. That formula isn't changing with the latest entry, the Mi Band 5. It looks almost identical to its predecessors but makes some notable improvements: There's finally magnetic charging so you don't have to pry the device out of the band anymore, the screen is a little bigger, and the tracking is a bit more accurate.
The Mi Band 5 might not compete with high-end trackers and smartwatches from Garmin or Fitbit, but it doesn’t have to.