The Budget Redmi gets an Upgrade

After the cool concept Mi Mix launch, the bread and butter Redmi got an upgrade today as Xiaomi showed off three new phones, the Redmi 4A, Redmi 4 and Redmi 4 Pro. The super affordable range have redefined the budget market for phones at really good specs and low price points. From an estimated S$110, all three phones have metal bodies, 5″ screens, Android Marshmallow, 16GB storage.
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Xiaomi MiTV3 Innovates With Separate Motherboard

Xiaomi’s big announcement yesterday was a new Mi TV 3, with size now bumped up to 60-inch, has an 11.6mm thick frame made from aluminum and what Xiaomi calls a flagship TV processor. It supports 4K resolution and has a high color gamut along with MEMC motion compensation. It is a Smart TV and has an external sound bar promising world-class audio. Mi TV 3 will sell for RMB 4999 (785 USD).

What’s cool about it is that Xiaomi has separated the input ports, processor of the TV into a separate soundbar. THis allows you to upgrade the performance of the TV without the cost of replacing the entire TV. Also, it reduces wire clutter by only requiring a single MiPort cable between the soundbar and TV. The current processor has a Cortex-A17 processor, Mali T760 GPU, and supports 4K 60fps with hardware decoding. It also has 2GB of RAM, 8GB of internal storage, WiFi, and Bluetooth. The mainboard carries a price of RMB999 (157 USD) alone. Xiaomi expects the hardware to be refreshed on an 18 month cycle.

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Review: Xiaomi Mi Band Leather Strap (MiJobs)

The Xiaomi Mi Band is a basic, yet very comparable wearable to other offering from Fitbit or Jawbone, with cool features such as notification alerts, but the design isn’t exactly fashion forward. The Mi Band comes with a standard silicon rubber strap, typically in black, although there are other cheerful and colourful options. However, they are still more suited as a sports accessory. Pair it with formal clothes, and the Mi Band stands out like an odd ball.

mi-band-leather-strap (2)

To ensure that you are still counting your steps and monitoring your exercise, Xiaomi have released a leather strap for the MiBand complete with alloy case. You can’t buy it yet from the Mi Shop in Singapore though. The brains of the MiBand simply slot in to the leather wrist strap of a more upmarket look.

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Value for Money Phone Comparison – Zenfone 2 vs Mi4i

The Mi4i will be retailing in Singapore from 12 May 2015 – at $279. It is a excellent price point for a plastic clad version Xiaomi’s former flagship. Specs have been tuned down slightly, on the processor front, as Xiaomi opted for the cheaper octacore Snapdragon 615. It retains the very nice 5 inch Sharp / JDI Full HD OGS display, which is one of the better IPS screens in the market.

The Xiaomi Mi4i will be available in Black, White, Yellow, Pink and Blue five color variants. For the initial period, the Mi4i in Singapore will be available in white only. The Mi4i is of much better build quality than Xiaomi budget Redmi series, and the white back is a matte soft rubber material which offers good grip. There’s also an anti-grease coating which helps with the comfortable feel when holding it.

When you compare to prices of other mid-range to high-end phones, the Mi4i is really value for money. Also, the budget Redmi series while recognised as value for money, were at times criticized for the bulky design. At only 7.8mm thin and weighing only 130g, it is the lightest in its category.

xiaomi mi4i (1)

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Xiaomi Announces new Smart TV 40" Mi TV2

The Xiaomi onslaught continues as Xiaomi announced today a new Smart TV that goes on sale in China end of this month. The new 40-inch 1080p TV is a lower end version of the 49-inch MiTV2 version which had been selling in China for over 6 months now. Although it is sold in China only at the moment, you can bring in or buy from resellers in Singapore. There are already a number of users of the 49-inch MiTV2 and response has been positive. I had been tempted to buy one too.

The new Mi TV 2 model would retail at 1,999 CNY, or around $440. It features a 40-inch Full HD LED Sharp display with 5,000:1 contrast ratio, H.265 10-bit hardware video decoding and Dolby virtual surround sound. The TV packs a 1.45GHz quad-core Cortex A9 processor, 1.5GB of RAM, 8GB of storage, that runs on Xiaomi’s MIUI TV. This gives you access to a number of Chinese content from their MIUI TV ecosystem as well as the ability to install other Android applications. Xiaomi has been in the Android TV Box space for a number of years, and their MIUI TV OS is relatively stable and more importantly, user friendly.

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