Android 10 on Xiaomi Mi A2 (Lite) or When Firmware Updates Go Wrong

Xiaomi Mi A2 Android 10

I’ve been using Xiaomi Mi A2 smartphone since December 2018. At the time, it shipped with Android 8.0, but I soon got an update to Android 8.1, and later to Android 9.0. I’m quite satisfied with the phone as it receives (almost) monthly security updates, works reasonably faster, features a decent camera, and overall does the job. The biggest complaint I have so far is about storage. It comes with 32GB eMMC flash and no MicroSD card slot, and it’s constantly full, so I have to clear the cache often, and sometimes I need to uninstall an app and reinstall it in order to install an update. Sometimes in January, I got a notification about Android 10 updates, but since I was out of space, I only installed it late February after some serious storage cleaning… The update went smoothly, and after some adjustment to the settings I was back to a usable phone, but I soon noticed a warming …

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Xiaomi AIoT Router AX3600 WiFi 6 Router Sells for $135

Xiaomi AIoT Router AX3600

The first 802.11ax routers were unveiled a Computex 2018, before the WiFi Alliance decided to use a new consumer-friendly naming scheme and rename 802.11n to WiFi 4, 802.11ac to WiFi 5, and 802.11ax to WiFi 6, and then WiFi 6 routers launched later that year from companies such as ASUS and TP-Link with price starting at $350. Prices have now come down with for example TP-Link WiFi 6 AX3000 smart WiFi router going for $142.99 plus shipping on Amazon, and Xiaomi has now launched their own WiFi 6 router with Xiaomi AIoT Router AX3600 offered for $135 including shipping on Aliexpress. Price may soon come down further as the router is sold for just 599 CNY,  or about $86 US, in China excluding shipping. Note that with the Coronavirus outbreak, shipping may be delayed. Xiaomi AIoT Router AX3600 specifications: SoC – Qualcomm IPQ8071A quad-core Arm Cortex-A53 @ 1.0 GHz CPU with dual-core NPU (Network Processing Unit) @ 1.7 GHz System …

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Yeelight Smart LED Bulb 1S (Color) Review with Android App and Google (Local) Home

Yeelight Smart LED Bulb Google Local Home

Last summer, Google released the Local Home SDK developer preview which allows developers to run actions and use resources on the local device rather than in the Cloud for lower latency. One company that updated its devices is Yeelight whose WiFi smart lights have now been enhanced with the Google Local Home SDK helping deliver a latency of less than 0.3 seconds, so you don’t need to wait after your voice command has been processed by Google Assistant. The company contacted me to test the new feature and had GearBest sent a sample of Yeelight Smart LED Bulb 1S (Color) for review. I have never tested Yeelight devices so I’ll start with an unboxing, testing with the Android app, before trying it out with Google Home and Google Assistant. Unboxing of Yeelight Smart LED Bulb 1S (Color) The package has some useful information about the light bulb including some specifications such as its 8.5W rated power, and integration with services …

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Xiaomi Redmi AC2100 Router Sells for $35 and Up

Xiaomi Redmi AC2100 Router

Xiaomi has launched several affordable WiFi routers over the years. Their latest model is called Xiaomi Redmi AC2100 Router and comes with a dual-core, quad-thread MIPS processor, 128MB storage, WiFi 5 with 6 antennas, and four Gigabit Ethernet ports. Xiaomi Redmi AC2100 router specifications: Processor – MediaTek MT7621A dual-core/quad-thread MIPS processor @ 880MHz System Memory – 128MB RAM Storage – 128MB flash Connectivity Wireless 2.4GHz 2×2 Wi-F 802.11n @ 300Mbps 5G 4×4 WiFi 802.11ac @ 1733Mbps 6x external high gain (5dBi) antennas Security – WPA-PSK / WPA2-PSK encryption, wireless access control (black and white list), hidden SSID, intelligent anti-scratch network Ethernet 1x 10/100/1000Mbps WAN (Auto MDI/ MDIX) 3x 10/100/1000Mbps LAN (Auto MDI/ MDIX) Misc – 2x LEDs Indicators (Internet and System), Reset pin hole Power Supply – 12V/2A Dimensions – 259 x 176 x 184mm The router is said to come with MiWiFi firmware based on OpenWrt with “deep customization”, and can be managed via its web interface (in Chinese) …

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Xiaomi Smart Multi-mode Gateway Supports Zigbee 3.0, WiFi, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Mesh

Xiaomi Mijia Smart Multi-Mode Gateway

Xiaomi has introduced several inexpensive home automation products over the years, often under their Mijia brands with for example a WiFi to IR blaster, a Zigbee & WiFi smart home kit, a smart door lock, or a smart speaker among other products. Recently, the company has launched the Xiaomi Smart Multi-mode Gateway that supports Zigbee 3.0, WiFi, Bluetooth, and Bluetooth Mesh. Xiaomi Mijia Smart Multi-mode Gateway (model ZNDMWG03LM) key features and specifications: Connectivity ZigBee2.0 / ZigBee3.0 2.4GHz Wi-Fi 2×2 MIMO Bluetooth & Bluetooth Mesh Compatible with Apple Homekit Max range – 200 meters (Line-of-Sight) Up to 32 devices Power Supply – 5V/1A Dimensions – 90x25mm Temperature Range – -5℃-50℃ Humidity – 0%-95%RH, non-condensing The gateway can be controlled via Mi Home app running on  Android 5.0 or iOS 12.0 smartphones. It’s compatible with Apple Homekit, Xiaomi Mi AI speaker, and the earlier Zigbee/WiFi kit with Aqara gateway and Zigbee sensors and sockets. I initially thought it might an ESP32 + …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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