Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE has reportedly started receiving the MIUI 12.5 Enhanced Edition in India. Users are taking to Twitter to post screenshots of receiving the update. In addition to Indian users, it is reported that users in Turkey are also receiving the MIUI 12.5 Enhanced Edition update on their Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE. The firmware version is said to be V188.8.131.52.RKOINXM users in India and V184.108.40.206.RKOTRXM in Turkey. MIUI 12.5 Enhanced Edition update is based on the Android 11 software.
As mentioned, users have taken to Twitter to post screenshots of receiving the MIUI 12.5 Enhanced Edition update on their Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE smartphones. The update is listed to be 479MB in size. The changelog, shared by RMUpdate.com, suggests that the update introduces swift performance for more life between charges. It also has introduced a new focused algorithm that dynamically allocates system resources based on specific scenes to ensure a smooth experience. The MIUI 12.5 update also brings an atomised memory for a better memory management mechanism and new liquid storage mechanisms to keep the system responsive as time goes by. Lastly, the update also brings core system improvements.
Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE users are advised to not download the update via third-party links and wait for the update to arrive via the over-the-air (OTA) method. One can also check manually in the settings menu to see if the update has arrived. It is also advised to download the update when the phone is connected to a stable Wi-Fi signal and is sufficiently charged.
To recall, the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE was unveiled in India in September. It is priced starting at Rs. 26,999 and is available on Mi.com, Amazon, and Mi Home offline stores.
Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE specifications
On the specifications front, the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE features a 6.55-inch full-HD+ (1,080×2,400 pixels) 10-bit flat Polymer OLED true-colour display with a 90Hz refresh rate. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 778G SoC, paired with up to 8GB of RAM and 256GB of internal storage.
For photos and videos, the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE comes with a triple rear camera setup that includes a 64-megapixel primary sensor, along with an 8-megapixel ultra-wide shooter and a 5-megapixel tele macro shooter. Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE comes with a 20-megapixel selfie camera sensor at the front.
The Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE packs a 4,250mAh battery that supports 33W fast charging (supported charger included in the box). The phone comes with a side-mounted fingerprint sensor and includes dual speakers. Connectivity options include 5G (12 band support), 4G LTE, Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth v5.2, GPS/ A-GPS, NFC, IR blaster, and a USB Type-C port.
The cleaning robot space has many products from numerous brands today, but one of the earliest big names in the segment is American company iRobot. The original Roomba cleaning robot was launched in 2002, and its successors have become progressively better over the years in terms of core vacuuming capabilities as well as other features such as smart connectivity and battery life. One of iRobot’s newest products in India takes automation of the cleaning process a step further, with automatic dirt disposal.
Priced at Rs. 69,900 in India, the iRobot Roomba i3+ comes with the company’s Clean Base charging base station, which doubles up as a dirt collection system for the robot. This means that you won’t have to empty the vacuum bin on the robot every few days, as is needed to be done on most cleaning robots. How does this work, and is the iRobot Roomba i3+ worth the price? Find out in this review.
The Clean Base docking station contains a vacuum mechanism and dust bag to clear out the robot’s dustbin after every completed cleaning
What is the iRobot Roomba i3+, and what’s in the box?
Most of the cleaning robots I’ve reviewed in recent months have been capable of both vacuum cleaning and mopping, but iRobot splits these two functions across separate products. The Braava range, with products such as the iRobot Braava Jet M6 exclusively mop, while the Roomba range is meant only for vacuum cleaning. In keeping with that, the iRobot Roomba i3+ is exclusively a robot vacuum cleaner, with no mopping capabilities.
A brush on the right side of the iRobot Roomba i3+ sweeps dirt into the vacuum zone of the robot. For movement, there are two mechanised wheels at the sides, and a third free wheel at the front for balance. The dust bin for the vacuum cleaner is at the back and can be removed easily if needed, while the charging contact points are at the front. Unlike most cleaning robots, there is no lid to access the inside of the iRobot Roomba i3+. The device has two rubber vacuum rollers, which can be removed for cleaning as needed.
Instead, the device has a textured finish at the top, with three buttons – Power / Clean, Home, and Spot Clean. The front has a large bumper to protect the iRobot Roomba i3+ from the shocks of bumping into objects and walls, and a module that contains the Reactive Sensor setup, which helps the device navigate around the home and find its way back to the docking station.
Also included in the box is the Clean Base docking station for the iRobot Roomba i3+. While most docking stations are small enough to slide under a sofa or sit inconspicuously in a corner, the Clean Base dock is a tall, large contraption that will need to be properly positioned for the robot to reach. The top of the Clean Base has a lid which lets you access the dirt bag, while the bottom has the charging contacts for the robot.
What makes the Clean Base unique is its ability to suck dirt out of the dust bin in the Roomba and deposit it into its own dust bag. This means you don’t need to periodically and manually empty out the dust bin on the robot, but while it might sound convenient, there are some caveats, which I’ll talk about later in this review. It’s also worth pointing out here that you can buy the Rs. 49,900 iRobot Roomba i3, which is the same cleaning robot, but it comes with a normal charging dock instead of the more advanced Clean Base unit.
The iRobot Roomba i3+ has two mechanised wheels to move around, and a single sweeping brush
iRobot Roomba i3+ navigation and mapping
The navigation system on the iRobot Roomba i3+ is quite different from what I’ve seen on many of the mid-range and high-end devices I’ve reviewed. Reactive Sensor navigation works a bit better than the basic camera-based navigation used by devices such as the ILife A9s and Trifo Max Pet, but isn’t quite as impressive as the laser-based navigation seen on devices such as the 360 S7.
Neither as quick, nor as intuitive as laser-based devices in detecting obstacles such as the legs of furniture, the Roomba i3+ was a bit clumsy as it moved around my house, often bumping into things quite violently. The cleaning path it takes is unpredictable, with the robot seemingly randomly choosing where to go rather than following any pattern or system. There’s also no scope for giving the robot specific instructions such as which rooms to clean and what order to follow. You can’t even even remote control the device to guide it manually.
All you can do is hit the ‘Clean’ button on either the device or in the app, which makes the Roomba i3+ clean all areas it can physically reach, but in an order and path of its own choosing. There is some form of mapping for the robot, but this is only to see the extent of its cleaning after the job is done; you can’t use the map to detect where the device is, set no-go zones, or even specify areas to clean, as is the case with much of the competition. You can create virtual walls to prevent the robot from accessing certain areas, but this needs the Rs. 5,900 Virtual Wall Barrier kit.
There were a few occasions when the device got itself stuck in ways that needed me to free it, but this didn’t happen too often, as long as I remembered to pick up loose rugs and mats, and moved some obstacles such as a clothes drying rack out of the way when the robot was working. Although there were some issues with navigation and mapping, the iRobot Roomba i3+ always found its way back to the docking station without any trouble during my time with it.
iRobot Roomba i3+ app
Like the iRobot Braava Jet M6, the Roomba i3+ is supported by the iRobot Home app, which is available for iOS and Android devices. While it can be argued that the app is simpler and a lot easier to use than most other manufacturers’ apps for cleaning robots, this also reflects its lack of customisation options and inability to control the specifics of the Roomba i3+.
The app shows the status of the cleaning robot front and centre, including its current battery level. There’s also an option to empty the bin (when it’s docked on the Clean Base). As you scroll down, there are options to start a vacuuming job immediately, or create a custom job with a time limit for cleaning before the robot returns to the dock. The default cleaning task doesn’t have a time limit, and will run until the device decides your home is cleaned entirely, or its battery runs low.
The app is simple and easy to use, but also lacks customisation options and any ability to control specific functions of the cleaning robot
You can review past cleaning tasks with a map of the areas covered and other basic statistics such as area covered and time taken. The map highlights areas where the robot detected more dirt and increased its power, but all of this is just information for the user. You can also use the app to create cleaning schedules, and change basic settings including the UI language, Wi-Fi connection, cleaning and Clean Base preferences, and more.
The Roomba i3+ charts its own path, controls its own suction power, and does its job entirely on its own without any input from the user. One thing the app does let you do is start a cleaning job from anywhere in the world, provided the robot is connected to your home Wi-Fi and your smartphone is connected to the Internet.
iRobot Roomba i3+ cleaning
As mentioned, iRobot splits cleaning functions across its Roomba and Braava product ranges, and the Roomba i3+ exclusively sweeps and sucks up dirt using its vacuum cleaner; there’s no mopping with this device. However, the iRobot Roomba i3+ is particularly good at vacuuming, and is also extremely easy to operate. There isn’t much to do beyond hitting the start or stop button.
The iRobot Roomba i3+ decides when to increase power depending on its sensors detecting particularly dirty patches or messy dry spills. That said, it is loud at all times, even when it’s running at a lower suction power. The sensors on the device help it detect specific messes that need more effort to clean up, and the robot was also able to double back on areas that required more thorough cleaning.
The company doesn’t specify the peak suction power of the iRobot Roomba i3+, only stating that the device has 10 times the lifting ability of the Roomba 600 series, its entry-level robot vacuum cleaner which is priced at Rs. 26,900. While I can only roughly guess without actual figures, the iRobot Roomba i3+ seems to be roughly on par with the Milagrow iMap 10.0, which is rated at 2,700pa for suction power.
This is more than enough for everyday dust and dirt accumulation, and even occasional dry spillage such as food crumbs. The Roomba i3+ worked well enough to ensure the hard floors in my home were cleaned, and was capable of proper cleaning on both granite and PVC tiled surfaces. It also managed to go under most furniture to clean areas that were hard to reach manually. However, the iRobot Roomba i3+ isn’t quite powerful enough for homes with pets. You need much more suction power to handle fur and dander, with devices such as the Trifo Max Pet better suited to such homes.
A small vent at the bottom of the iRobot Roomba i3+ lines up with the Clean Base to allow the on-device dustbin to be cleaned
iRobot Roomba i3+ automatic dirt disposal
Dirt is deposited in the Roomba’s dustbin, which is only large enough to hold what would typically be picked up in a single cleaning of my 600-square-foot home. With most cleaning robots, this dustbin has to be manually cleaned out every few days – equivalent to 3-4 full cleanings of my home. However, the iRobot Roomba i3+ has a unique way of dealing with this.
The rather large docking station of the iRobot Roomba i3+ is the size it is for exactly this purpose – to clean out the smaller dustbin on the robot after every cleaning job. An opening at the bottom of the dustbin lines up with the tubing on the dock, which then uses its own suction system to quickly pull dirt out of the robot and deposit it into a disposable dirt bag within the dock itself. The dock gets very loud when pulling dirt from the robot, but the resulting empty dustbin means that you don’t have to manually clean the robot at all.
It’s worth mentioning here that the dirt bag isn’t reusable; once full, you need to remove it and replace it with a fresh dirt bag. The sales package only includes two of these, each of which is rated for 60 days of use before needing to be disposed of. The bags are priced at Rs. 1,660 for a pack of three, so the convenience of not having to manually clean the dust bin is somewhat expensive. Other consumable parts such as replacement brushes and filters are also on the expensive side.
I did face some issues with the dock during my time with the iRobot Roomba i3+. The app once reported that the dirt bag was full just a few days after installing it, and a quick look confirmed that it wasn’t full at all; this was fixed by removing the bag and simply re-inserting it. Another issue I faced on multiple occasions was alerts about a blockage in the vacuum tubing on the dock. No such blockage was visible even after going through several troubleshooting steps, which involved opening up the tubing to check. The dirt disposal function continued to work normally all through these issues, so the warnings seemed a bit ridiculous and bothersome to have to continuously deal with.
The top of the device has three buttons and the module for the Reactive Sensor navigation
iRobot Roomba i3+ battery, charging
As is the case with the Roomba i3+’s suction power, iRobot does not specify its battery capacity, and the app doesn’t provide specific battery level information either. Instead, you get a small indicator in the app which shows only a rough battery level. This is perhaps where things get too simple; I’d have liked more detailed statistics on this.
The battery level would drop to around half after a single cleaning of my 600-square-foot home, which would take around 40 minutes to complete. After this, the robot would return to the dock on its own to charge. It is capable of doing this if its battery is running low even when the cleaning task isn’t complete, and it will resume where it left off after charging. Continuously running the device without allowing it to return to the dock had it go for around 85 minutes before it would no longer run without charging, which is quite average in this segment.
The area this might cover largely depends on the layout of your home and the kind of surfaces that need to be cleaned, as well as the number of times the robot will have to increase suction power to pick up larger messes. However, I can estimate that it will cover a home of around 1000 square feet in size on a single charge, making it adequate for most urban Indian apartments.
Charging is simple enough, with the robot docking on the charging station on its own after completing a cleaning job. It took under two hours to top up the battery after a single cleaning of my home, and a little over three hours after the battery had been fully drained by continuously running the device.
The iRobot Roomba i3+ is a rather expensive cleaning robot, especially considering that it is only capable of vacuum cleaning, whereas many similarly priced or more affordable options can both vacuum and mop. At Rs. 69,900, this is an expensive option, and you’ll wind up spending much more if you factor in the cost of a separate mopping robot such as the iRobot Braava Jet M6 plus all the consumables you’ll need. However, the device is very good at its job, and not having to manually clean out its dust bin is a very useful touch.
The automatic dirt disposal feature is convenient and works well, making this one of the easiest robot vacuum cleaners to use right now. That said, all of this convenience comes by way of expensive accessories and consumables that need frequent replacement, which will only add to the already high cost of the iRobot Roomba i3+. Some issues with the app, odd navigation, noisy operation, and the lack of control are also factors worth considering before you buy this robot vacuum cleaner.
However, this is an effective, thorough, and surprisingly intuitive cleaning robot, achieving what it sets out to do with an impressive level of efficiency. If you’re willing to overlook the high price, multiple quirks and the lack of smarts, the iRobot Roomba i3+ is a very good cleaning robot at its core.
Intuitive cleaning, knows where there’s more dirt to pick up
Easy to use
App often tossed up non-existent errors
Basic mapping, can’t set no-go zones without accessories
Expensive to buy and operate
Average battery life
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Sony on Wednesday raised its annual profit outlook after reporting a surprise second-quarter profit increase, as its gaming business continued to capture “nesting” demand driven by COVID-19 lockdown measures.
July-September profit reached JPY 317.76 billion (roughly Rs. 22,500 crores), up 13.9 percent from JPY 278.96 billion (roughly Rs. 19,700 crores) in the same period a year prior, the entertainment and electronics firm said in a statement.
The result compared with the JPY 197.55 billion (roughly Rs. 14,000 crores) average of 11 analyst estimates compiled by Refinitiv. Sony raised its annual profit forecast to JPY 700 billion (roughly Rs. 49,600 crores) from an earlier estimate of JPY 620 billion (roughly Rs. 43,900 crores). That compared with the JPY 672.33 billion (roughly Rs. 47,600 crores) consensus of 24 analysts.
The firm now forecasts its gaming division to post annual profit of JPY 300 billion (roughly Rs. 21,200 crores), from the previously estimated JPY 240 billion (roughly Rs. 17,000 crores).
Consumers’ shift to gaming software downloads and online subscription services during lockdown boosted profit despite the PlayStation 4 console coming to the end of its lifecycle.
Such high-margin online revenue is likely to help Sony’s gaming business stay profitable this year, outweighing massive marketing and production costs associated with the launch of the PlayStation 5 (PS5) console next month.
With many modern smartphones today lacking a 3.5mm headphone jack, it’s becoming difficult for audiophiles to use them as source devices for lossless wired listening. While many will be quick to suggest using a dedicated high-resolution audio player or a DAC-amplifier setup using a computer, these can be expensive. Fortunately, budding audiophiles on a budget do have some worthwhile options to consider, including good portable DAC-amplifiers such as the iBasso DC03.
Priced at Rs. 4,999, the iBasso DC03 is a compact but full-fledged DAC-amplifier, meant to be used with smartphones or computers. You can connect 3.5mm earphones or headphones to this device, which serves as a bridge between the source and output devices, just like the slightly more affordable Shanling UA1. Is the iBasso DC03 a good choice for your budget audiophile setup? Find out in this review.
The iBasso DC03 supports up to 32-bit / 384kHz resolution and DSD256x formats
iBasso DC03 design and specifications
Like the Shanling UA1, the iBasso DC03’s biggest asset is its size. The core device is just a small dongle with a cable attached that leads to a USB Type-C plug. Even if you attach the included USB Type-C to Type-A adapter, the DC03 is still a very small device and will easily fit in your pocket alongside your smartphone. It also weighs just 11g. The attached USB cable is clear and braided, while the DAC itself is completely metal with a reflective finish. The iBasso DC03 is also available in black, but I quite liked the silver of my review unit.
There’s really nothing much that a user has to do in order to use the iBasso DC03 – you just plug it into an Android smartphone with a USB Type-C port, and it’s ready to go (you might have to manually direct audio output to USB through the phone’s settings, though). If you want to connect the DC03 to a laptop or desktop computer, there’s the aforementioned USB Type-A adapter. I didn’t need to do any additional setup when using it with my MacBook Air or OnePlus 7T Pro McLaren Edition; just plugging it in had it working.
While one side of the iBasso DC03 has the USB Type-C cable coming out of it, the other side has a 3.5mm headphone jack. You can thus use it as a way to plug your own wired headphones into a smartphone that doesn’t have a 3.5mm headphone jack instead of using a basic conversion dongle, or to improve sound quality with superior digital-to-analogue conversion than most portable devices provide on their own.
Indeed, on paper, the iBasso DC03 is a very good DAC-amplifier, with dual Cirrus Logic CS43131 digital-analogue converter chips and support for up to DSD256x and 32-bit / 384kHz resolution audio files. The device has a rated frequency response range of 20-40,000Hz, and draws power for itself and the connected earphones or headphones through the USB connection.
The iBasso DC03 has a USB Type-C plug, but you can use the included adapter to connect to USB Type-A devices too
iBasso DC03 performance
Although a bit more expensive than the Shanling UA1 at Rs. 4,999, the iBasso DC03 is a bit more capable in terms of specifications. The device has dual Cirrus Logic CS43131 DAC chips, which is impressive given its small size, and this results in more refinement and nuance in the output. Of course, you’ll need a good source device and high-quality audio, as well as decent earphones or headphones to complete the path, but the iBasso DC03 is forgiving when it comes to the quality of the other components in the chain.
I heard a noticeable improvement in detail over the Shanling UA1, as well as smoother, more consistent sound output across resolutions, file formats, and music genres. Furthermore, the iBasso DC03 is a bit more flexible in terms of the kind of headphones and earphones it can work with. While there’s no recommended impedance range, it should be able to easily drive most entry-level and mid-range headphones and earphones with ease.
You might even be able to get decent results out of some high-end open-back headphones, but this should be a limited use case rather than part of a regular setup. The size and connectivity of the iBasso DC03 means that it’s easy to use with smartphones and entry-level audiophile wired earphones such as the KZ ZSN Pro X or the Moondrop Spaceship, which I used this DAC-amplifier with for much of my review.
Although high-resolution audio brings out the best in the iBasso DC03, it’s flexible enough to work well with compressed audio as well
While the iBasso DC03 does provide a decent amplification boost, it isn’t quite as pronounced as with the Shanling UA1. However, the gain feels gentler and more refined, allowing for more detail with less of the typical shrillness that tends to sneak in with a big amplification increase.
Listening to a high-resolution version of Life On The Nickel by Foster The People, the iBasso DC03 and Moondrop Spaceship kept pace with the quick beats of the track, offering an excellent soundstage and beautifully detailed imaging. This level of detail was particularly noticeable in the faintest aspects in other tracks as well; the subtle synthesiser elements in State Of The Art by Gotye as well as the auto-tuned vocals were beautifully reproduced.
With the more expensive and much more capable Sennheiser Momentum On-Ear headphones, a high-resolution version of You Rock My World by Michael Jackson sounded driven, tight, and spacious, offering a refined level of aggression that brought out the best in the headphones. Where the iBasso DC03 outperforms competition in its price segment is its ability to suitably drive both budget and mid-range headphones and earphones equally well.
The iBasso DC03 comes from a well-established line of products that have long been considered the best compact budget DAC-amplifiers you can buy, and it lives up to expectations. This is a capable DAC-amplifier that punches well above its weight, and is priced at a reasonable Rs. 4,999 in India. When paired with good headphones or earphones, the iBasso DC03 serves as an excellent bridge between source and output devices, adding detail, as well as subtle and careful gain.
While the Shanling UA1 is a fair bit more affordable than the iBasso DC03, the latter offers a bit more by way of detail and refinement, making it well worth the extra Rs. 1,000 for budding audiophiles. Combined with good budget earphones, the iBasso DC03 offers a better listening experience than most wireless audio products, with most high-resolution and compressed audio formats.
Design: 9 Performance: 9 Value For Money: 8 Overall: 9
Small, very easy to use
USB Type-C and Type-A connectivity
32-bit / 384kHz, DSD256x support
Improves detail and gain in the sound considerably
Works well with budget and mid-range headphones and earphones
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Apple HomePod and HomePod mini now support Apple Music Lossless Audio and Spatial Audio through the HomePod 15 beta 5 update. Users with either of the HomePod devices and on the latest beta software path on both HomePod as well as iOS will be able to activate the high-resolution audio streaming tiers on Apple Music, as well as listen to tracks in Spatial Audio with support for Dolby Atmos. The features will likely roll out for all HomePod and iOS users in the coming months.
Both HomePod products, including the larger HomePod and smaller HomePod mini, will support the feature. Users with the correct software version will have to activate the features through the settings in the Home app on iOS. It’s worth mentioning here that not all users on the beta software path will be able to see the updates yet, according a report by 9to5Mac.
Although Apple Music requires a wired connection to properly transmit the data for high-resolution audio streaming on smartphones, tablets, and computers because of the limitations of Bluetooth headphones and earphones, the HomePod range uses Wi-Fi — and its better data transfer capabilities to receive and decode the data to play back. Therefore, HomePod users will likely hear the improvement in sound quality with Lossless audio since the device directly streams using its own connection to the Internet.
Apple Music price starts at Rs. 99 per month for individual subscription plans in India, and offers all users on iOS, Android, and MacOS access to Lossless and High-Resolution Lossless streaming, as well as support for Spatial Audio with Dolby Atmos. The HomePod range works exclusively with Apple Music to stream music directly, once linked with your Apple account and subscription. With support rolling out for the high-resolution streaming tiers and Spatial Audio, users on the HomePod and HomePod mini will be able to enjoy better sound quality when streaming music over Apple Music.
Realme Smart TV Neo 32-inch was launched in India on Friday. The newest Realme TV model comes with a bezel-less design for the LED display that is also TUV Rheinland certified for low blue light. It is powered by a quad-core MediaTek processor. The Realme Smart TV Neo 32-inch sports 20W dual speakers with Dolby Audio support. It also features Realme’s Chroma Boost picture engine that is said to enhance picture quality. The new Realme TV bears a couple of HDMI ports, a USB port, and more.
Realme Smart TV Neo 32-inch price in India
The Realme Smart TV Neo 32-inch is priced at Rs. 14,999. It will be available to purchase via Realme’s website, Flipkart, and offline stores starting October 3 at 12pm IST (noon). The smart TV will be available in a sole Black colour option.
The Realme Smart TV Neo will be offered with a Rs. 350 discount when purchasing via the MobiKwik wallet.
Realme Smart TV Neo 32-inch specifications
The smart TV from Realme features a bezel-less 32-inch display and has TUV Rheinland low blue light certification. It is powered by a quad-core MediaTek processor that is built on a 64-bit architecture with ARM Cortex-A35 CPU and Mali 470 GPU. The processor supports a Chroma Boost picture engine that is said to enhance the picture quality along with improving the brightness, colour, contrast, and clarity.
For audio, the Realme Smart TV Neo 32-inch features 20W dual speakers with support for Dolby Audio that is said to reproduce a crystal clear sound quality. Connectivity options include 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, two HDMI ports, a USB Type-A port, an AV port, and a LAN port. It also features CC Cast that enables users to play mobile games or stream videos from their smartphones or tablets onto the TV.
The Realme Smart TV Neo 32-inch comes with the YouTube, Hungama, and Eros Now apps preinstalled. The TV runs its own smart TV OS, and not Android TV.
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The Poco M3 Pro 5G has been getting a lot of press since it was announced earlier this month, and now that we’ve spent enough time with it, let’s see if it’s really worth the hype. Going by the name, it wouldn’t be wrong to assume that it’s a more powerful version of the Poco M3, which it is in a few ways. However, in order to offer these upgrades while keeping the price under control, Poco has made some compromises too such as the removal of stereo speakers, and the use of a lower capacity battery.
The Poco M3 Pro 5G is currently the company’s most affordable 5G offering, and as I stated in my first impressions article, it competes directly with the Realme 8 5G and the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G — two other affordable 5G smartphones in India at the moment. The main appeals of the M3 Pro 5G are its design, high refresh rate display, and the MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC. Is this phone worth the money? Let’s find out.
Poco M3 Pro 5G price and variants
The Poco M3 Pro’s base variant with 4GB of RAM and 64GB of storage is aimed directly at the Realme 8 5G, and both are priced at Rs. 13,999. The second variant, which is what I have for this review, has 6GB of RAM and 128GB of storage, and is priced at Rs. 15,999. This is less expensive than the Realme 8 5G’s top-end variant and even the base variant of the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G, however the latter offers much better features and performance.
The Poco M3 Pro 5G has a 90Hz refresh rate display and a full-HD+ resolution
Poco M3 Pro 5G design
The back of the Poco M3 Pro 5G looks refreshingly new. The “switchblade” design, as Poco calls it, has a blacked-out portion on the upper left side of the body resembling the camera module design on Samsung’s Galaxy S21 series, while the rest has a gradient finish. The back panel and the frame are built of plastic, but they are glossy and attract fingerprints quite easily. I noticed some minor scuff marks over the week that I used this phone, so using the bundled case would be advisable.
The Poco M3 Pro 5G is not too thick at 8.92mm and doesn’t feel very heavy at 190g. Ergonomics are good, and the volume and power buttons have good tactile feedback. There is a headphone jack, and also an IR emitter for controlling infrared gadgets and appliances. The capacitive fingerprint sensor is integrated into the recessed power button on the right side of the frame.
The 6.5-inch full-HD+ display is sharp, with good colour reproduction. However, its maximum brightness could have been better. There is an ambient light sensor but this phone felt a bit sluggish at adapting the screen’s brightness to my surroundings, and I often had to increase or decrease it manually. The display has Corning Gorilla Glass 3 for protection.
I quite like the overall design of the Poco M3 Pro. It’s less bulky than the Poco M3, which is a good thing.
The Poco M3 Pro 5G has a plastic frame and back, but is slimmer and lighter than the Poco M3
Poco M3 Pro 5G specifications and software
The Poco M3 Pro 5G uses the MediaTek Dimensity 700 SoC, which is very similar to the Dimensity 800U except for its lower clocked CPU cores and a slightly slower GPU. The RAM and storage used here are LPDDR4X and UFS 2.2 respectively. The M3 Pro 5G also has dual-band Wi-Fi ac, FM radio, Bluetooth 5.1, and a hybrid dual-SIM slot. The phone has a 5,000mAh battery with support for 18W fast charging.
The phone runs on MIUI 12.0.2 (at the time of this review), based on Android 11. When I first began using the phone, none of the stock apps misbehaved, but after a few days I started receiving plenty of spam in the form of notifications from apps such as the GetApps, Music, Mi Credit, etc. Some of these apps can be uninstalled, but for the others, there’s little that can be done.
Poco M3 Pro 5G performance and battery life
In everyday use, the Poco M3 Pro 5G was snappy and fuss-free. The 6GB RAM version that I tested handled multitasking very well, and the 90Hz screen refresh rate ensured smooth and fluid scrolling in apps as well as the interface. The Dimensity 700 SoC also put out good numbers in benchmarks, with the M3 Pro 5G scoring 3,27,355 points in AnTuTu, and 557 and 1,753 points in Geekbench’s single and multi-core tests respectively.
Performance of the Poco M3 Pro 5G is pretty decent in apps and games
Gaming performance was good too. Heavy titles such as Call of Duty: Mobile ran well, though the graphics quality was limited to Medium and the advanced options were disabled. The back of the Poco M3 Pro 5G did get warm after about 20 minutes of gaming but this was not too alarming. Video playback was good too, but the low brightness and reflective nature of the display meant that the viewing experience outdoors or under bright lights wasn’t great.
Despite its reduced battery capacity compared to the Poco M3, the M3 Pro 5G still managed to run for 16 hours and 42 minutes in our HD video loop test, which is good. The phone generally lasted for a day and half with regular use. Charging this phone wasn’t the quickest. The M3 Pro 5G could only charge at up to 18W, and took close to two full hours to fully charge from empty.
Poco M3 Pro 5Gcameras
The Poco M3 does not have an ultra-wide camera and I was hoping to see one on the more expensive Poco M3 Pro 5G. Sadly, this isn’t the case. In fact, the camera setup is very similar to that of the M3. You get an 8-megapixel camera in the front, and a 48-megapixel primary camera as well as two2-megapixel cameras at the back for macros and depth. The camera app offers the standard shooting modes such as Night, Pro, etc, and can record videos at up to 1080p.
Poco M3 Pro 5G main camera sample (tap to see full size)
Poco M3 Pro 5G Portrait mode camera sample (tap to see full size)
Landscapes shot in daylight looked good on the phone’s display but upon closer inspection, textures and the edges of objects lacked good definition and sharpness. Close-ups fared much better in this respect. Macro photos were usable but I didn’t find myself using that camera much. Portrait shots looked good, especially those of people or animals.
Image quality takes a turn for the worse in low light. The main camera struggled to reproduce details and texture quality, and there was noticeable grain too. Surprisingly, Night mode wasn’t of much help when it came to enhancing details.
Poco M3 Pro 5G Night mode camera sample (tap to see full size)
Poco M3 Pro 5G selfie camera sample (tap to see full size)
1080p videos are heavily cropped if stabilisation is enabled but the video quality was strictly average even under good light. Low-light videos were grainy and weren’t very usable. The front camera captured usable selfies during the day, but struggled with backlit shots and in low light.
Overall, I think Poco could have used better sensors for this ‘Pro’ model, or at least have given buyers an ultra-wide camera to set this phone apart from its sibling.
The base variant of the Poco M3 Pro 5G is not too bad if you’re looking for a phone that will be ready to take on 5G networks when they arrive. However, the 6GB variant isn’t the best value for money, especially when you can get a more powerful 5G phone such as the Realme Narzo 30 Pro 5G for roughly the same price or less, if you consider ongoing discounts.
As I mentioned in my first impressions piece, if you’re not too fussed about 5G (and you shouldn’t be right now), phones such as the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10S and Redmi Note 10 Pro offer much better value with similar performance but way better features.
Nvidia has confirmed the reissue of the RTX 2060 but now with 12GB of VRAM, a GPU that was launched in 2019, as part of a move to alleviate sky-high prices of GPUs during the global chip shortage. The original Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card was released in 2019 and came with 6GB of memory. The company has announced that the renewed Nvidia RTX 2060 GPU with double the memory of the original model will soon be available, although pricing is yet to be announced.
The company has announced the revised Nvidia RTX 2060 in the release notes for the company’s Game Ready Driver 497.00 that was launched on December 2. Nvidia has also listed the specifications on its website, revealing that the new GeForce RTX 2060 will feature a higher base clock speed and offers 2,176 CUDA cores, instead of the 1,920 cores found on the 2019 model.
Power consumption is also higher at 185W, up from 160W on the older model, according to Nvidia. As previously mentioned, the GPU will also feature 12GB of memory, twice that of the RTX 2060 from two years ago. The specifications of the renewed RTX 2060 GPU suggest it could be positioned as an entry-level graphics card for gamers, in a market with a high demand for GPUs. The company has not provided a launch date, but The Verge reports that the GPU will be available from December 7.
Earlier this year, Nvidia had announced that it would relaunch the GTX 1050 Ti and the RTX 2060, in an attempt to alleviate the problems caused by the global semiconductor shortage that has hit the computing industry. Over the past year, scalpers (who buy GPUs in bulk and sell them at a premium) and cryptocurrency mining have ensured that the prices of GPUs like the Nvidia RTX 3060 are high, while stocks are limited. The company is re-releasing older, lower-powered GPUs is to ensure graphics cards are available for those who need to purchase GPUs without waiting for restocks.
The Mi Watch Revolve was launched in September last year priced at Rs. 10,999, but it has recently received a price cut to Rs. 7,999. It did not have any voice assistant on board, and its features did not really help it stand out. Xiaomi has now launched a new product called the Mi Watch Revolve Active, and it brings Alexa support along with SpO2 tracking, which is a useful feature given the current pandemic situation. Has Xiaomi made a better wearable? And should you choose the Mi Watch Revolve Active over the previous model? I spend some time with this new watch to find out.
Mi Watch Revolve Active Price in India
The Mi Watch Revolve Active is priced at Rs. 9,999 in India. As an early bird offer, Xiaomi is offfering a Rs. 1000 discount which brings the price down to Rs. 8,999. The Mi Watch Revolve Active also has an HDFC Bank offer for Rs. 750, which takes the price down to Rs. 8,249. You do not get sizing options but it does come in Beige, Black, and Navy Blue, with matching straps.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active has a 1.39-inch AMOLED display, and given that it comes in only one dial size, this device might look big on your wrists if you have small hands. The display is crisp and it also has an always-on mode. I found the display brightness to be good enough, and this watch has an ambient light sensor that can tweak brightness automatically.
The watch body feels plasticky, but it is super light at just 32g (without straps). The watch is water resistant upto 5 ATM of pressure which should help it survive the rigours of daily use. There are two buttons on the right side of the watch case. The upper one brings up the app drawer on the watch’s display, while the second one is a shortcut for workout tracking. Both of them have good clicky feedback and you won’t be second-guessing an input. The left side is completely blank.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active has two buttons on the case
Turn the watch around and you’ll see a bunch of sensors on the underside. These are for heart rate, SpO2, and stress tracking. It also has connectors for charging the battery. I had a Beige unit of the Mi Watch Revolve Active, which has a brown back.
This watch uses 22mm bands, and the one included in the box has quick release pins so you can pop it off without any tools. Xiaomi says it will offer different straps as accessories for the Mi Watch Revolve Active, and you should be able to swap them quite easily. The strap material is soft to the touch and has a textured finish. You get a regular pin buckle on the strap to secure it on your wrists. I found it a little hard to wear the watch because of this texture, but it also felt secure once in place.
You can pair the Mi Watch Revolve Active to a smartphone using the Xiaomi Wear app. This app is very easy to use and setting the watch up for use for the first time is a smooth process. Once paired, the app can be used to check different metrics that the watch records. You also need the app to sign in to Amazon to get Alexa working on the Mi Watch Revolve Active. I did use Alexa for a little while, and found functionality to be a little limited – more on that in the full review.
With the Xiaomi MI Watch Revolve Active, you will be able to track heart rate, sleep, SpO2, stress, and workouts. The Watch also has built-in GPS to track outdoor workouts, and a barometer to gauge pressure. The Mi Watch Revolve Active has a 420mAh battery, which Xiaomi claims can last for upto 14 days and be charged in less than two hours using the supplied charger.
The sensors on the underside of the Mi Watch Revolve Active
I found the watch interface to be quite similar to that of the Mi Watch Revolve, which I have reviewed earlier. This new watch was quick to wake its display when I raised my hand. Swiping down from the top shows the notifications from a paired smartphone, while swiping up from the homescreen brings up the quick toggles. Swiping left and right from the watch face shows different metrics such as heart rate, sleep time, and stress, among others.
The Mi Watch Revolve Active, as its name suggests, is a fitness-focused product. Xiaomi seems to have also managed to pack in all the essentials. So should the Mi Watch Revolve Active be the fitness watch of your choice? Stay tuned for the full review to find out.
Oppo F21 series was previously reported to be debuting in the Indian market with two devices by the end of Q1 2022, likely March. It is now being reported that the Oppo F21 Pro+ and the standard Oppo F21 will release in India next year between March 17 and March 21. If the report is to be believed, the Oppo F21 Pro+ is going to be the first device from the F21 series to hit the shelves. The standard Oppo F21 is expected to be released a week later.
A report by 91Mobiles claims that Oppo is also working on a third device for the F21 series, Oppo F21 Pro. However, as of now, there is no clear timeline regarding the release of this model. The F21 series of smartphones are tipped to sport a sleek and stylish design, even more than the Reno 7 series. The official hardware specifications of this series are still unknown to us.
According to a previous report, we do have some idea regarding its pricing. The Oppo F21 series is supposed to target the mid-range market and is expected to be priced between Rs. 20.000 to 30,000. The Oppo F21 series is going to succeed the Oppo F19 series of smartphones. The preceding series featured the Oppo F19, F19 Pro, and F19 Pro+. At launch, the F19 series was priced between Rs. 19,000 and 26,000. All three smartphones ran on Android 11-based ColourOS 11.
The F19 series smartphones featured a 48-megapixel quad rear camera setup with a 16-megapixel selfie camera. Major differences in this series were introduced in the form of the processing power allotted to each device. The standard Oppo F19 was equipped with the Snapdragon 662 SoC. In the middle, Oppo F19 Pro featured the Mediatek Helio P95 chipset. Finally, Oppo F19 Pro was powered by the MediaTek Dimensity 800U SoC.
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