Bye Bye Camera Notch, Hello Under Display Camera

Death of the camera notch

As phone manufacturers tried to stretch the screen to body to the theoretical limit of 100%, some not-always-broadly popular design choices had to be made. And so the camera notch was born to expand the screen, which resulted into an ultra-thin top bezel, combined with a small cut-out for the front-facing camera that many people dislike. If you are one of those people, I have good news: the death of the camera notch could be near thanks to under display cameras. Xiaomi was the first company to release a demo this morning through a tweet by Alvin Tse, Head of Pocophone Global for Xiaomi. Check this out from our R&D team! @Xiaomi continues to innovate and we have some exciting tech up our sleeves. RT if you love under display camera! #xiaomi pic.twitter.com/4Rlzt9uRAd — Alvin Tse (@atytse) June 3, 2019 We can see two nearly identical poco phones above, except the one of the left does not have a visible …

Customize Amazfit Bip Smartwatch – Thai Language and Mickey Mouse

Amazfit Bip Watch Face Mickey Mouse

I’ve been wearing WeLoop  Hey 3S smartwatch for well over a year now, and I’m still very satisfied with it, but a small problem is that it does not support Thai language, so when I receive messages it’s just blank, or only shows the ASCII characters part of the string. There’s also no real community for this watch, so customization options are limited, and readers recommended  Amazfit Bip instead. I’ve writing about this, because one person I know looked for a smartwatch, and first wanted to get an Apple Smartwatch, but where I live it’s over one month of the minimum salary and around two to three weeks of a typical office salary. So instead I recommended the much cheaper Amazfit Bip after I was told the requirements were support for Thai language notifications, and custom watch faces in order to install a Mickey Mouse watch face, and both of which appeared feasible after a (too) quick search on the …

Android 10 Beta 3 Now Available on 15 OEM Phones

Android 10 Dark Theme

Google introduced Android Q in March with the first beta and preview SDK release. The new version of Android introduced more privacy protections, support for foldables, sharing shortcuts, connectivity improvements (e.g. WPA3 security), new camera and multimedia features such as dynamic depth photos and AV1 media codec support, as well as an updated neural network API, higher ART performance, and security improvements. Google has now announced Android 10 Beta 3 with a few new features over the first preview release, and support for 15 OEM phones on top of the 6 Pixel phones already supported. Some of the new improvements in Android 10 Beta 3 include: Scoped Storage feature giving users control over files and preventing apps from accessing sensitive user or app data. See the corresponding developer page for details. Update of BiometricPrompt authentication framework to support biometrics, e.g. face recognition, at a system level. Project Mainline described as a new approach to keeping Android users secure and their …

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 …

Smartphones in 2019 – Foldable Displays, Button-Free & Port-Free Experiences

Xiaomi Foldable Smartphone

In recent years, I’ve found smartphones releases mostly underwhelming with some incremental improvement in performance, better cameras, the removal of the 3.5mm headphone jack, and in some case a notch appeared in the design for the camera, but nothing that radically changes the market. 2019 may be a different year, as smartphones with foldable displays will be launched, and some companies will introduce smartphone without any buttons, nor ports. Foldable Phones So far at least four companies have announced plans for foldable phones as Google is implementing foldables support in Android. We’ve already covered Samsung Infinity screen in the previous link, but there have been reports a new $1,5000 Motorala Razr phone is coming up with a foldable display, and a Royole FlexPai prototype was demonstrated at CES 2019 with a 7.8″ AMOLED display that folds in half and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor. The latter is actually the first foldable phone you can purchase, and it will cost you …

$54 ZMI MF855 is Both a Power Bank and a Portable 4G Wireless Router

ZMI MF855 4G Router Power Bank

Tiny routers usually come with at least one USB port that allows you to connect a 3G or 4G cellular dongle, and since it’s often used on the go, or as a backup solution it makes sense to have a battery in the router as well, as was the case for Marstek MPR-N9 I covered way back in 2013. Xiaomi ZMI MF855 portable wireless router offers the same function but with an integrated 4G modem, a larger 7,800 mAh battery that can also be used to charge your other device. The router looks like a standard power bank from the outside. ZMI MF855 router key features: Cellular Connectivity 4G/3G and 2G networks Micro SIM card socket FDD-LTE bands – B1 1800 B3 2100 B7 2600 MHz TDD-LTE bands – B38 1900 B39 2300 B40 2500 B41 2600MHz WCDMA bands – B1 850 B2 900 B5 1900 B8 2100 MHz WiFi – 802.11 b/g/n at up to 120 Mbps Support for …

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 …

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review – Part 1: Unboxing, Firmware Update, Antutu

Xiaomi Mi A2 Review

I’ve been using Xiaomi Mi A1 smartphone for well over a year, and during my initial review I was quite satisfied with the phone, and over time I was also pleased to receive regular firmware updates (monthly), and even an update to Android 8.0 and 8.1. Eventually, I found out the camera would be work that well in all situation as you can see from photos in that post, and a few months ago, I broken the display during a cycling trip, and eventually the phone basically died after one year due to an issue with the eMMC flash that become unbearably slow. I intend to use it at least for 18 months, since we can expect firmware update during that time frame. But it was not meant to be, and I was due for a new phone. Xiaomi Mi A2 / A2 Lite smartphones were launched in August, and very recently they got an upgrade to Android 9.0 Pie, …