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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ODROID-N2 Amlogic S922X SBC Coming in April for $63 and Up

ODROID N2

Due to RAM supply issues, Hardkernel canceled RK3399 based ODROID-N1 board last year, and decided to replace it with ODROID-N2 using a “newer SoC .. with faster CPU/GPU cores and native DDR4 support”, but they did not provide any details about the processor, and we speculated it could be the upcoming Amlogic S922X processor. Hardkernel has now formally unveiled ODROID-N2, the first Amlogic S922X SBC to be announced, with 2 to 4GB DDR4 RAM, 4x USB 3.0 ports, Gigabit Ethernet, HDMI 2.0a video output up to 4K 60p and more. ODROID-N2 SBC specifications: SoC – Amlogic S922X hexa-core big.LITTLE processor with 4x Arm Cortex A73 cores @ up to 1.8 GHz, 2x Arm Cortex A53 cores @ 1.9 GHz, Arm Mali-G52 GPU @ 846MHz; 12nm manufacturing process System Memory – 2GB or 4GB DDR4 RAM @ 1320 MHz Storage – 8MB SPI flash, eMMC flash module socket, micro SD card slot Video & Audio Output – HDMI up to 4K …

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Adiantum Enables Faster File Encryption in Devices without AES Crypto Accelerator

Adiantum performance

File Encryption is enabled – even required – by default in most Android devices, as it protects your data would you lose your phone, or have it stolen. Encryption in Android leverages the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES), and most modern 64-bit processors – like the ones based on Armv8 – come with a crypto accelerator that boosts performance several folds compared to a software only solution. But there are also many low end devices, for example based on Arm Cortex-A7, that lack crypto extensions, and enabling AES encryption would make the devices even slower than they already are. So in order to provide file encryption on entry-level hardware without comprising too much on performance, Google has developed Adiantum encryption optimized to run on targets without crypto accelerator. As explained in a Google Security blog post, Adiantum uses the ChaCha stream cipher – as used in HTTPS – in a length-preserving mode since file systems work in 4096 bytes block. The …

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$30 MX10 MINI TV Box Runs Android 9 on RK3328 Processor

MX10 MINI

Android 9.0 TV boxes based on Rockchip RK3328 processor started to become available at the end of last month for $45 and up, but if you’d like a cheaper Android 9 TV box either for playing videos or as an inexpensive device to test apps with Google’s latest version of Android, MX10 MINI might be worth a look, as it sells for $29.99 plus shipping on Aliexpress. MX10 MINI specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ up to 1.5 GHz with Mali-450MP2 GPU System Memory – 2 GB DDR3 Storage – 16 GB eMMC flash +  micro SD card slot Video & Audio  Output – HDMI 2.0a port up to 4K @ 60 Hz with HDR10 and HLG support + 3.5mm AV port with composite video and stereo audio Video Codecs – 4K @ 60 Hz decoding of H.264, 10-bit H.265, and VP9 Connectivity – 10/100M Ethernet, 802.11 b/g/n WiFi (2.4GHz). N.B.: no Bluetooth USB – …

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How to Upgrade Xiaomi Mi A2 to Android 9 Pie

XIaomi Mi A2 Android 9- Update

I read Xiaomi Mi A2 got an official upgrade to Android 9 Pie in India around mid November. This got me interested in reviewing Xiaomi Mi A2 with the latest Android operating system, and GearBest sent me a sample for this purpose. However in the first part of Xiaomi Mi A2 review, I only got a security update to November 5 2018 security patch level, but the operating system remained Android 8.1. I was a disappointed, but I did not look into it so far since I was busy with other tasks, but this morning I finally got the update! Hooray! If like me, you are based in Thailand or another country stuck to Android 8.1, and would like to upgrade Xiaomi Mi A2 to Android 9, you can follow those simple steps which I have tested personally: Book a flight ticket to Hong Kong Board the actual flight and land in Hong Kong Purchase a tourist SIM card with …

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Android 9.0 TV Boxes Now Available for $45 and Up (Promo)

A5X Max Android 9.0 TV Box

If you own a fairly recent official Android TV device, you should probably expect an update to Android TV 9.0 in due time, but for TV boxes running Android instead, I was not aware of any models running Android 9.0 so far. Having said that, with Android 9.0 support announcements from Amlogic and Rockchip made earlier, we knew Android 9.0 boxes would eventually become reality, and according to listings on Geekbuying, there are at least two Rockchip  RK3328 TV boxes running Android Pie: A5X Max going for $45.49 shipped with coupon A5XMAX9, and X88 MAX+ selling for $49.99 including shipping. Both boxes come with similar features except X88 Max+ comes with 64GB flash and dual band AC WiFi, so I’ll have a look at A5X Max specifications: SoC – Rockchip RK3328 quad core Cortex A53 processor @ 1.5 GHz with Mali-450MP2 GPU System Memory – 4GB DDR3 Storage – 32GB eMMC flash + full size SD card slot Video Output …

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Amlogic S905Y2, S905X2, S922X Boards Running Android 9 Showcased at IBC 2018

Amlogic S922X Reference Design

At the very beginning of this year, we publish an Amlogic roadmap showing Amlogic S922 next gen CPU/GPU, and S905X2 quad core Cortex A53 processors, but so far we still had limited information, and as per Amlogic own roadmap S922 was still at the definition stage, so exact specifications may have been expected to change at the time. The company showcased some exciting new solutions at IBC 2018 with three reference boards based on new Amlogic S905Y2, S905X2, and S922 processors all running Android TV 9 “Pie”. “Android TV Rumors” was apparently at the event and posted some photos on twitter. Amlogic S905Y2 Reference Board Amlogic S905Y2 processor is using the same old quad core Cortex A53 configuration, but features a more modern Arm Mali-G31 MP2 GPU. The reference board is designed for OTT 4K HDMI dongles, and comes with 16GB storage, 2GB RAM, USB 2.0 interface, as well WiFi 2T2R and Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity. Amlogic S905X2 Reference Board We …

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Android 9 Go Edition Uses Less Storage, Boots Faster, and Improves Security

Android 9 Go Edition

Android Go Edition was first launched with Android 8 (Oreo) in order to provide an operating systems and Google apps optimized for low-end hardware with less than 1GB RAM.  Since then more than 200 Android Go smartphones have been introduced in over 120 countries for as low as $30. Follow the release of the “full” Android 9.0 Pie operating system last week, the company has now announced Android 9 Go Edition with several new features. Android 9 Go Edition brings the following improvements at the OS level: Up to 500MB extra storage – So as shown above you may have 5.5GB free instead of 5.0 GB in Android 8 in a phone with an 8GB flash. Faster device boot times Better security features like verified boot Dashboard for tracking and monitoring data consumption The company also made several improvements to Google Go apps with for example, Google Go being able to read webpages aloud, Google Maps Go supporting navigation with …

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