Xiaomi Mi A2 Review with Android 9.0 Pie

Mi A2 Review Android 9.0

I had been using Xiaomi Mi A1 Android One smartphone since the end of 2017,  and was mostly satisfied with it thanks to regular (monthly) firmware update, although I was a bit disappointed by the camera overtime. Eventually I had a serious issue with Mi A1’s eMMC flash, and stopped using it at the end of last year, or roughly after one year of service, since the phone became unusable, unbearably slow. Xiaomi Mi A2 and A2 Lite where released last summer, and having seen Mi A2 was getting an Android 9.0 firmware in Q4 2018, I asked GearBest whether they could send a sample to review the latest Xiaomi Android One phone. They accepted, and I posted the first part of the review in early December. However, at this time, I did not get the update, since it was not released in Thailand, but soon enough Xiaomi Mi A2 got upgraded to Android 9.0 Pie. I’ve now been using …

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LIVA Q2 Review – ECS Micro PC Tested with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.10

ECS LIVA Q2 Teardown

ECS (Elitegroup Computer Systems) is a Taiwanese company that has been offering mini PCs for several years now. Last year they announced their ‘pocket-sized’ model the LIVA Q. Originally featuring Apollo Lake SoCs it has now been upgraded and renamed as the LIVA Q2 and offers a choice of Gemini Lake SoCs. The distinguishing feature of the LIVA Q series however is the form-factor. Compared with Intel Compute ‘stick’ PCs and Intel NUC ‘mini’ PCs the LIVA Q2 is a ‘micro’ PC. This micro PC is like a minimalist mini PC that includes just the minimum number of useful ports namely a couple of USB ports (3.1 and 2.0) on one side, a micro SD card slot on another and finally an HDMI (2.0) and gigabit Ethernet at the rear. The resultant micro PC is beautifully small consisting of a 70mm (2.76″) square case by 33.4mm (1.31”) tall which can still be mounted on the back of a monitor using …

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Pepper Jobs GLK-UC2X Mini PC Review with Windows 10 and Ubuntu 18.10

Pepper Jobs GLK-UC2X Teardown heat pipe cooling

Pepper Jobs is a new company led by Ken Wong who was formerly MINIX’s product director and defined many innovative products such as NEO-X series Android media hubs and NEO-Z series Intel-based mini PCs. The first Pepper Jobs designed and released mini PC is the GLK-UC2X targeting small business, 4K home theater, and living room use with an emphasis on low power and great savings on electricity bills. The GLK-UC2X contains an Intel Celeron N4100 Processor Gemini Lake SOC which is a quad-core processor bursting up to 2.40 GHz together with the Intel UHD Graphics 600 processor that is capable of 4K support at 60Hz. It physically consists of an approximately 139mm (5.5″) square case about 33mm (1.3”) tall with a side panel that includes the power button, a couple of USB ports, a Type C USB port and a micro SD card slot with the rest of the ports including headphone jack, Type C USB, HDMI (2.0a), mini DP …

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SainSmart DS802 Review – A Dual Channel Virtual PC Oscilloscope

DS802 Oscilloscope Arduino

Hey Karl here. Today we’re going to look at the SainSmart DS802 Dual-channel oscilloscope. I have always wanted to have an oscilloscope and add it to my tools. When SainSmart asked to review the DS802, I was pretty excited. I can get my nerd on and troubleshoot all kinds of things. A couple weeks later it arrives and my anxiety kicks in. How the heck do I review an oscilloscope. I used an oscilloscope in high school in a class called principles of technology. But we never really went into much depth and only looked at the signals generated by a signal generator. I understand the basics. This is written from a perspective of a complete noob. SainSmart DS802 Specs Pulled directly from Sainsmarts website: Channels: 2 Analog channels Interface: USB 2.0 Output: 1k HZ amplitude 1.5V, 50% duty cycle square wave signal Maximum sampling rate: 80 MSps per channel Vertical resolution: 8 bit Voltage range: ±5v, expandable to ±50v …

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Test AI Performance in Android with AI Benchmark App

AI Benchmark App

Many new phones now come with Silicon-on-Chips (SoC) featuring a Neural Processing Unit (NPU) or similar IP block(s) aiming to accelerate A.I workloads such as facial recognition or object detection. Some silicon vendors will report performance in terms of TOPS (Trillion of Operation per Seconds) with for example 2.25 TOPS for the latest Mediatek Helio P90 processor, or 4.20 TOPS for Hisilicon Kirin 980 SoC. However, those numbers can be deceptive, and nothing beats actual tests. However, last time I checked Android benchmarks such as Antutu do not include tests specific to artificial intelligence just yet. Luckily there’s already an app for that called AI-Benchmark which you’ll find on Google Play. The benchmark includes 9 tasks: Object Recognition / Classification with MobileNet – V2 Object Recognition / Classification with Inception – V3 Face Recognition with Inception ResNet V1 Image Deblurring with SRCNN 9-5-5 neural network Image Super-Resolution with VGG – 19 neural network Image Super-Resolution with SRGAN neural network(CPU only) …

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Sony Spresense Board Review with NuttX based Spresense SDK

Sony Spresence Kit Assembled

Sony Spresense Arduino compatible board with audio and global navigation satellite systems (GNSS) support and its extension board launched in Japan this summer. The company has now expanded markets, and is offering the boards in the United States and Europe as well. They also tasked an agency to send samples to various reviewers, and I got selected to receive one as well. I’ll start the review by checking out the hardware, shortly discuss software development options, and report my experience with Spresense SDK. Sony Spresense Unboxing I received two packages… … one the main board, and the other for the extension board. The main board package only comes with CXD5602PWBMAIN1 board and an information sheet. The top of the board includes a reset button, four user LEDs, a power LED, a boot recovery button, the camera interface, Sony CXD5247 power management and audio analog interface chip (Black on the photo below, but in reality it’s a reflective surface), Sony CXD5602 hexa …

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Khadas Edge Review – Part 3: Android 7.0 Preview

Khadas Edge Android 7.0

Hey Karl here with a look at a preview of Android on the Khadas edge. Jean-luc has done 2 parts already. The first one looking at the hardware side, and a second looking at Ubuntu. A third img is available that for LibreELEC. The initial release was very barebones, and the 2nd version is much more polished with the Play Store installed now and overall feels snappier. Khadas is supposed to be sending an Edge over to Super Celeron, and I hope they follow through. DHL DHL really messed up my board. Here are some pics. I will only be testing with Ethernet because the WiFi antenna got damaged badly and even bent the heatsink. I think the board is slightly damaged as well. I can only flash using the buttons on the board and not the carrier board. Everything else seems OK. Due to the damage I am using a heatsink that I had. I took some temp readings …

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ClockworkPi Gameshell Review – Part 1: Unboxing & Assembly Guide

ClockworkPi Gameshell Review

ClockworkPi Gameshell is a portable retro gaming console kit designed to be hackable being powered by Allwinner R16 processor to run Linux, as well as an Arduino compatible Atmel AVR MCU. It’s partially open source hardware with PDF schematics, and firmware source code available on Github. The device launched last year on Kickstarter, raised close to $300,000, and started shipping to backers last summer. The company has now sent me a sample for review, so let’s have a look. The first part of the review will be more than just an unboxing, since the game console is meant to be assembled by the end user, and I’ll report my experience doing so. ClockworkPi Gameshell Unboxing The kit comes in a fairly large package that reads “GameShell – Redefine Portable Game Console” and lists the main specifications with quad core Cortex A7 processor, WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity, 1GB RAM, 16GB micro SD storage with OS,  micro HDMI output, and a 1,200 …

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