Almost exactly two years ago, Xiaomi pulled a page from OnePlus’ playbook and stunned everyone with the Poco F1 (or Pocophone F1), a phone with proper flagship specs that cost just $300. While the F1 cut some corners to achieve this feat (plastic build, no NFC), it still delivered amazing performance and battery life. Then in 2019, it was followed up by… crickets?
While Redmi’s excellent K20 Pro was technically the Poco F1’s successor, Xiaomi didn’t release a Poco-branded device last year. That changed back in February 2020, when the company announced it was spinning Poco off as a sub-brand.
Xiaomi’s Mi Band series is a globally recognized brand of eminently affordable fitness trackers, and the recent Band 5 sure lives up to that rep. Its sub-brand Redmi also runs a parallel fitness product line, more common in Asian markets. The company announced its super-cheap Redmi Smart Band packed with a ton of features back in April, and now it's making its way to India at a similar bargain price.
During a livestreamed launch event today, Xiaomi unveiled the latest in its affordable range of Poco phones. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 732G, the Poco X3 NFC is a mid-ranger that features an Adreno 618 Elite Gaming GPU with liquid cooling for the mobile gamers out there. An impressive spec sheet is coupled with a remarkably low price as the base model costs just €229 (£199).
Ever since the first notched phone hit the market, we've all been yearning for the next evolution in smartphone design. Under-display cameras have been in the works for some time — I got to see an Oppo prototype last year — but ZTE will be the first company to announce a phone featuring the futuristic tech that you can actually buy next month. Not to be outdone, Xiaomi has unveiled its third-generation under-display camera solution which it aims to include in a product sometime next year.
When MIUI 12 debuted around three months ago, we published a post about a few of its "super" wallpapers being ported to other Android devices. The developer who ported the others, "linuxct" on XDA Forums, has now ported another MIUI 12 wallpaper. This one's called Faraway Rings, and as you might be able to guess, it depicts Saturn's rings.
While flagships are getting ever more expensive, midrange and entry-level phones are giving us ever better hardware at the same affordable prices. The Xiaomi Redmi 9 is no exception and offers great value at €150 (or ₹10,000 as the Redmi 9 Prime in India). If Xiaomi had invested more in a better processor and less in the heavily-marketed but poorly executed quad-camera setup, I could recommend this phone with no reservations. As it stands, this phone is still a good option for some people.
For its 10th anniversary, Xiaomi has decided to mix all of the highest specs it could imagine, turn on the blender, and create the Mi 10 Ultra. The flagship's hardware list reads like a collection of almost all the high-end components currently available on the market, and it's packaged in a good looking exterior.
India recently banned a slew of Chinese apps, most notably TikTok and WeChat, but also the Mi Browser Pro. That has implications for Xiaomi and its MIUI Android skin, as the company naturally pre-installs its own banned browser on its ROM. The manufacturer has now issued a statement, telling its customers that none of the blocked apps are functional on its phones anymore and a new version of MIUI is in the works that gets rid of them completely. The company has also reaffirmed that 100% of Indian user data stays on local servers.
Last month, Xiaomi took the stage in an online-only event to show off a slew of products, including its Redmi 9 phone series and its new true wireless earbuds. Among them was also the hotly anticipated and often-leaked Mi TV Stick, which the company has now finally released in India, where it will become available for purchase starting August 7.
Amidst rising tensions between the two countries, the government of India banned 59 apps (like TikTok!) that originated from China in June. The next month, the country announced an additional 47 more apps that were blocked. Now it looks like at least a few more have been added to the banned list, including apps from Xiaomi and Baidu.