I've always had a soft spot for Lenovo's weird-ass tablet designs, ever since one of them asked me to buy Android apps with Burger King gift cards. The latest one turned heads when we found out you could use it as a portable HDMI monitor, a surprisingly practical use for a little flat screen that can fit in your backpack. Based on the official announcement, it might just be worth a second look, and possibly even money that doesn't come in the form of prepaid fast food credit.
Xiaomi was labeled a national security threat in the United States during the waning days of the Trump administration, following similar action against Huawei and ZTE. The company filed a lawsuit against the US government in order to prevent the ban, and on May 12, both parties have reached a settlement that will remove the technology giant from being blacklisted altogether. Now, Xiaomi has published a statement on the litigation, announcing that the US District Court of Columbia issued a final order, formally lifting all restrictions.
Smartphones make for an excellent distribution channel for services — another source of monetization for companies. Hence, it wasn't surprising when OnePlus announced its own mobile payment system in China last year. It seems like the company is now ready to expand its offering and introduce it to other markets, including India.
You might know that OnePlus is an Oppo subdivision, with many of its devices sharing the same design and internals as Oppo products. While OnePlus tried to deny its close ties to Oppo in the early years, the business is increasingly more open about its relationship with its parent company. That becomes even more apparent now that OnePlus has announced that it will use a custom version of Oppo's ColorOS in China in favor of its own China-only HydrogenOS.
The blocking of popular Western social media platforms in China is nothing new, and regulators appear to have gone after the increasingly fashionable chat app Signal. Users in the country report that the service has been down since yesterday.
In the final days of Donald Trump's presidency, the US government wanted to follow up the Huawei and ZTE bans with another one, this time aimed at Xiaomi. However, the company was able to get a preliminary injunction from the US District Court for the District of Columbia, removing the restrictions on the business a week before they were scheduled to go into effect. And ass Bloomberg reports, it looks like Xiaomi and the US government have finally come to an agreement, completely removing the company from the entity list.
When it comes to smartphone design, the ultimate goal of minimalists seems to lie with a slab containing no protrusions, no ports, just a constant surface with a large, fascia-filling display. ZTE has done some grunt work in bringing a few user-facing features beneath the surface and is showing off some of it at the in-person MWC in Shanghai.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for aatmanirbharta (Hindi for self-sufficiency) in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic seems to have permeated through a substantial chunk of his audience. The call for self-sufficiency even extended to smartphones and apps, and Indian developers didn't fail to show up when the country banned several Chinese apps over unspecified privacy and security issues. While some have been honest attempts, others are just copy-my-homework-but-just-change-it-up-a-little-so-that-it-isn't-obvious. Koo, an alternative to Twitter, falls in the latter category.
The Snapdragon 888 from Qualcomm is the SoC we'll be seeing in a lot of Android flagships in 2021, and Xiaomi's already announced a phone powered by it — the Xiaomi Mi 11. The company's budget sub-brand Redmi is due to launch a model with the same chip next month, and it looks like it will be among the cheapest Snapdragon-888 powered phones to come out in 2021.
Historically, Xiaomi has been a consistent contender to launch the first phones with next-generation Qualcomm silicon. It took the lead again by announcing its Mi 11 series of phones complete with the Snapdragon 888 in China last year. With that new engine comes a cavalry of other upgrades, and now, the phone is also available in international markets.