Just about 2 months ago, Xiaomi debuted its first 5G gaming phones. Next week, it will bring them out of China and into Europe. But up until then, fans who want either a Black Shark 3 or 3 Pro have a chance to save a little money when it comes time to buy one.
Xiaomi’s widely popular budget lineup is a complex nexus of sub-brands, rebrands, variants, and configurations. Just look how the recent Redmi Note 9 Pro series is sold under different names with slightly varying specs in many parts of the world, and the Poco X2 is a rebranded Redmi phone. Further adding to the muddle, the manufacturer just announced the non-Pro Redmi Note 9 along with a cheaper Lite variant of the Mi Note 10 line, which debuted in November.
You may love or hate MIUI, but since Xiaomi is among the biggest phone manufacturers out there, a lot of people come into touch with its software. It has come a long way compared to 2018 when we went hands-on with it, and the company continues improving MIUI with each new version. After a leak revealed our first glimpse at the latest iteration of the skin, it comes to no surprise that Xiaomi has now officially launched MIUI 12 during its April 28 event in China, where it has also unveiled the Mi 10 Lite Zoom Edition.
From an outsider’s perspective, the stateside smartphone market looks more carrier-driven with unwavering platform loyalty and consumer preference largely constricted to two top brands. Meanwhile, those in other regions are more accepting of phones from emerging makers that conveniently undercut their mainstream counterparts, often without making many compromises. OnePlus once led the burgeoning budget flagship segment, but many of its peers from China have since joined in to take a slice of the pie. Beyond OnePlus, which expanded its US availability not too long ago, there is a whole lot of other brands that you’ve probably never heard of in the US but are thriving elsewhere.
Xiaomi accidentally shared a version of its MiSettings app on its community forums, giving us what looks to be our first detailed look at the upcoming MIUI 12 and its refreshed design. First spotted by the folks at XDA Developers, the screenshots below don't show off anything outside the Settings app, but the slightly revamped design language might be present throughout the upcoming version.
If you own an Android TV set-top box that wasn't made by NVIDIA, there are decent odds that you're using a Mi Box from Xiaomi. This affordable alternative manages to play 4K HDR content at up to 60 FPS for far less than the $150 asking price of NVIDIA's cheapest option. While updates for the Mi Box S haven't exactly been numerous, the device recently received an update to a stable build of Android 9 Pie, and now a major bugfix update is on its way.
There are a lot of fun 3D objects like skeletons, cars, planets, and animals you can view in Google Search, which might be perfect to pass the time while you and your kids are stuck at home. The underlying technology enabling this is called Google Play Services for AR, formerly known as ARCore. It's an engine that powers most games and applications on Android that use augmented reality effects. However, since the framework has to be tuned for each device, Google has to periodically update Play Services to support new phones and tablets.
LineageOS is the most popular custom ROM out there, with dozens of supported devices and a few nice features over stock Android. The new Android 10-based LineageOS 17.1 was just released earlier this month, and now the project is bringing back support for two classic Google phones.