Xiaomi Announce POCO Watch

Today, Xiaomi announced POCO’s first smartwatch, aimed at empowering your fitness. With its square design, the watch certainly looks nice. And has some nice features to go with it too.

  • 1.6 Inch AMOLED Colour Touch Display
  • SpO2 Measurement
  • 24-Hour Heart Rate Tracking
  • 100+ Fitness Modes
  • Multi-System Standalone GPS
  • 5ATM Water Resistance
  • Up to 14 Days of Battery Life

The watch itself is aimed exclusively at fitness enthusiasts, but of course it will make a nice addition to any wrist, while complimenting your smartphone.

There’s three colour options (Blue, Black and Ivory) to choose from, a 225mAh battery, Magnetic Charging, Bluetooth 5.0, and will work with Android 6.0 or later, and iOS 10.0 or later.

The POCO Watch will start from 79 Euros and will be available from April 28th.

Xiaomi Announce Poco buds pro – Genshin impact edition

If you think these cute headphones are just a visual product, then think again.

Xiaomi today announced the POCO Buds Pro – Genshin Impact Edition, and with it some very decent specs to boot;

  • Dual-Device Connectivity
  • Dual Transparency Mode with 35dB Smart Noise Cancellation
  • 28-Hour Long Battery Life with Wireless Charging
  • Klee’s Backpack as Carrying Case
  • Klee’s Built-In Voice
  • IPX4 Rated
  • Plus many more

These true wireless headphones are one of the coolest (and cutest) I’ve seen, and for fans of the Genshin Impact series. These will be a must have.

The POCO Buds Pro Genshin Impact Edition will be available for 69 Euros, and availability will likely be limited from April 28th – May 7th.

Xiaomi announce poco f4 gt

Xiaomi just announced the POCO F4 GT, which will be equipped with some beefy specs that will not only be good for everyday smartphone tasks, but also for gamers alike.

The key features to keep note are as follows;

  • LiquidCool Technology 3
  • 4nm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Processor
  • 120hz Refresh Rate
  • 120W HyperCharge (17mins to charge to 100%)
  • 4700mAh Dual-Cell Battery
  • 6.7 Inch Flat AMOLED Display
  • 64MP Main Camera
  • 20MP Front Camera
  • Quad Speakers with Dolby Atmos
  • Magnetic Pop-Up Triggers
  • RGB Lights
  • 5G

All this in a very standout design, that will have smartphone enthusiasts and gamers drooling with excitement. (Let me just grab a mop).

The POCO F4 GT will be available starting at 599 Euros with an early bird price of 499 euros (8GB / 128GB variant) and for 699 Euros (12GB / 256GB variant), with an early bird price of 599 euros. The POCO F4 GT will be coming soon.

Xiaomi Redmi note 11 Review

You are reading my review of the Xiaomi Redmi Note 11. This device was sent to me by Xiaomi PR UK.

Design

One of the first things to note when taking the phone out is how sleek a form factor the phone is. It’s very comfortable to hold, a decent size and importantly, very smart looking.

Despite not being a premium material body. It certainly has the look of a well built phone. On the back you’ll see the camera array, with the 50MP AI main camera, a 13MP front facing camera, volume rocker to the right side, power button with fingerprint reader built in, dual speakers and a charging port. All this in a body thickness of just 8.09mm, and weighing a very light 179g.

One of the biggest standout features for this very affordable phone though is the 90mhz FHD+ AMOLED DotDisplay.

The screen comes in at 6.43 inches in size and uses AMOLED technology to not only deliver deep blacks but vibrant colours too. You also get a DCI-P3 wide colour gamut, 1000 nits of brightness, and 4,500,000:1 contrast ratio for really sharp images.

The 6.43 inch display takes up the front of the phone and allows for great immersion into the content you consume.

Using the Redmi Note 11 for the last 3 weeks, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed watching not only YouTube on the go, but also apps like Netflix & Amazon Prime.

On the right side of the phone, the power button not only turns the phone on and off, but also houses a very accurate and responsive fingerprint reader too. It’s surprisingly fast and gets me on the home screen instantly.

At the top and bottom of the Redmi Note 11, we have the dual speaker set up, and from someone who enjoys listening to music, the speakers do not disappoint. I’ve listened to many tracks on YouTube music while getting ready to go out or even just playing in the background while I write up reviews (Including this one). The sound quality is good and I have no complaints.

Not only do we have the dual speaker set up, but there’s also a headphone jack too. So dust off those wired headphones, as they can have some use once more.

At the bottom of the phone, we have the microphone and USB-C port for data transfer and the 33w Pro fast charging. This will charge up the 5,000mAh battery in around 61 minutes, depending on what you’re doing with the phone.

The back of the phone has a matte finish, and does feel somewhat slippery. But no more than any other phone out there. I’d say most people use a case and this shouldn’t be an issue for the average consumer.

CAMera

One thing to note is if you’re buying this wallet friendly phone and think you’ll be getting cheap and cheerful, think again. The camera setup does deliver on the photography side, and the 50MP Main camera really shines through when it comes to capturing those important memories – the quality is decent and the images sharp. Some images were a little washed out, but this was dependant on what lighting was available at the time.

There’s an 8MP ultra-wide lens for capturing all of the scene, but also a 2MP depth camera.

Combined, you’ll have a smartphones that’s capable of capturing all the moments, including the little ones, thanks to the 2MP macro camera that’s also amongst the very slim camera bump.

While the camera setup does do well in outdoor or well lit conditions, low light and indoor shots with minimal light can look a little grainy. And this would be my only criticism when it comes to the cameras quality.

For me personally, I don’t tend to take many indoor photos during night time or low light hours. So this isn’t really an issue for me. But if you were hoping to take some shots on a night out for example, this could be an issue for you.

With the selfie camera you get a 13MP sensor, which again performs really well in well lit areas. The images looks sharp and I can’t complain at the quality. But again, if you’re planning on taking selfies in low light. Just bare in mind this may not be the best, but it’s also not the worst I’ve seen.

The selfie camera will be good enough when used for video calling on Google Duo, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.

See below for some photos taken using the Redmi Note 11 with each lens; 50MP Main, ultra-wide, macro.

Like many smartphones, the Redmi Note 11 has many camera features, including: Pro mode, Video, Photo, & Portrait. As well as Night mode, Short video, Panorama, Documents, Slow Motion and Time Lapse.

You can customise the settings to a degree, and tweak the settings for your own personal use. But for the average consumer, the default point and shoot system will be good enough and you’ll get some great shots without the need to change anything.

Video recording is decent enough for a smartphone at this price point, though you will only get 720p @ 30fps or 1080p @ 30fps. No 4K video recording unfortunately, but it’s not a huge loss. As most content is still consumed in 1080p.

Overall the cameras are impressive considering this phone costs just £179.

Software

The Redmi Note 11 is currently running Android 11, with Xiaomi’s MIUI 13.0.9, and while most skins can feel sluggish, the Redmi Note 11 seems to be fairly smooth. I really like the style and design of MIUI, compared to some other big brand phones out there.

There’s a lot of customisation to be had on this phone, and visually one of the best to navigate. The only thing that threw me, was the closing of apps. With MIUI 13, you bring up the opened apps by swiping halfway up the screen (that’s normal) but then you have to swipe left on opened apps to close.

Alternately, you can close all with a single button press. I guess it comes down to what you’re used to, and of course, I quickly got used to this way of closing apps, so not a dealbreaker at all.

You get some preinstalled Xiaomi apps which can’t be removed, but many of them do have a purpose and some are very handy to have.  

MIUI won’t be for everyone, but this latest version (MIUI 13) is an overall better experience and easily one of my favourites to use, compared to other brand skins.

Performance

Performance is near perfect for a phone at this price point. It’s running a 6nm Snapdragon 680. And while not the fastest processor out there. It handles everything with ease and didn’t have any slowdowns or hiccups – this to me proves you don’t have to have the latest and greatest phone to get good performance.

The phone I have to review had 4GB ram and 64GB storage, which was plenty for me and my time with the phone. I used many different apps, where the octa core CPU handled everything with ease.

Playing games via the Play Store was smooth, and performance was great. As an avid gamer, I also used my GameSir controller and fired up some cloud gaming with Google’s Stadia. Of course, this is cloud gaming, so the phone handled some AAA Cyberpunk 2077 like a pro. And whilst looking fantastic on the AMOLED display.

Cyberpunk 2077 with GameSir Controller, via Google Stadia

The battery included is 5000mAh in capacity which is quite nice to have in such a budget-friendly phone. Even some flagship phones don’t get 5000mAh batteries, so having this battery capacity on the Redmi Note 11 was a nice addition. And in terms of an all day battery life, YES. I was getting at least a day out the Redmi Note 11. A bit less than a day if I played some games on the go. But as I mentioned earlier, this phone has 33w Pro fast charging, and I was never really without a fully charged phone for long.

It’s also worth mentioning that you don’t get wireless charging with the Redmi Note 11. But to be honest, this is not something I missed. I’m perfectly happy with charging with the fast charging cable and seeing that battery life replenish in no time at all.

The Redmi Note 11 comes with support for 2G/3G/4G, but no 5G on this phone I have. While 5G would be nice, it’s not an issue for me. Where I live, 5G is still concentrated around a newly built business park. Otherwise, 4G is still the dominant connectivity for me. And I can imagine this is still the case for a lot of people.

You also get GPS, Bluetooth, NFC and WiFi as standard.

Conslusion

The Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 is easily and by far one of the best budget smartphones out there right now. And with it’s great performance, incredible display and camera setup. This could be the perfect first phone for many, or for those wanting a decent spec phone for social media and video content.

At £179, you’re getting one of Xiaomi’s best budget smartphones that certainly don’t skimp on the specs.

Thanks for reading!

Vodafone Offering Stadia Premiere Edition With Pixel 6 And Pixel 6 Pro

If the new Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro from Google appeal. And you happen to be an avid gamer. Look no further than this amazing offer from Vodafone.

Not only will you get Googles latest smartphone offering. But you’ll also be able to nab yourself a Stadia Premiere Edition bundle. Have a look at the starting deals below.

Pixel 6;

– 100GB Data
– Unlimited Calls
– Unlimited SMS
– 5G Plan
– Stadia Premiere Edition*

£34pm with £9 upfront.
36 month phone plan with a 24 month 100GB airtime plan.

This can be customised to better suit your needs with Vodafone’s ‘Build your Phone Plan’ button.

Pixel 6 Pro;

– 100GB Data
– Unlimited Calls
– Unlimited SMS
– 5G Plan
– Stadia Premiere Edition*

£41pm with £19 upfront.
36 month phone plan with a 24 month 100GB airtime plan.

Again, this can be customised with the ‘Build you Phone Plan’ button.

The offer to claim the Stadia Premiere Edition bundle ends on 6 December 2021. And comes with the following terms.

*Claim a Google Stadia Premiere Edition

Buy a Google Pixel 6 or Pixel 6 Pro (subject to availability), between 28/10/2021 at 00:01 am to 06/12/2021 at 23:59pm and claim Google Stadia Premiere Edition for free. Eligible customer accounts will be contacted within 3 working days of order completion with instructions to redeem. Participants must be 18 or older with a delivery address in the UK. Redemption window closes 16/12/2021 at 23:59pm.

To see the Pixel 6 offers on Vodafone, follow the link below.

PIXEL 6 / PIXEL 6 PRO DEALS

Vodafone Offering Big Savings For Black Friday

Whether you’re after a PAYG smartphone, Sim Only, Pay Monthly smarthphone, a GPS tracker or Giga Fast Pro Broadband. Vodafone has some great deals to choose from.

These are just some of the deals currently available on Vodafone;

Xiaomi Redmi 9AT: NOW: £79 (when bought with a Big Value Bundle) Offer valid until 25 November 2021.

Samsung A12: NOW: £169 (when bought with a Big Value Bundle) Offer valid until 25 November 2021.

Motorola Edge 20 Lite: NOW: £229 (when bought with a Big Value Bundle) Offer valid until 25 November 2021.

Nokia G10: NOW: £99 (when bought with a Big Value Bundle) Offer valid until 25 November 2021.

Alcatel 3080: NOW: £20 (when bought with a Big Value Bundle) Offer valid until 25 November 2021.

Nokia G50: NOW: £169 (when bought with a Big Value Bundle) Offer valid until 25 November 2021.

TCL 10L: NOW: £125 (when bought with a Big Value Bundle) Offer valid until 25 November 2021.

Superfast 2 Basic – Superfast Fibre Broadband with 67Mbps average speeds£20 per month. Offer valid until 29 November 2021.

Gigafast 900 Pro – Gigafast Pro Broadband with Alexa Built-In at no extra cost – with 910Mbps average speeds£30 per month*. Offer of Alexa Built-In at no extra cost valid until 29 November 2021. 50% off CityFibre 910 Mbps in select locations.

£10 Big Value Bundle. NOW: 25GB data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts. Offer valid until 31 January 2022.

£15 Big Value Bundle. NOW: 50GB data, unlimited minutes and unlimited texts. Offer valid until 31 January 2022.

Curve Bike: 25% off. NOW: £59 (25% off) plus £4 per month service fee on a 12 month contract or £3 per month service fee on a 24 month contract.

To see me offers, go to www.vodafone.co.uk/blackfriday for more information and to see all the deals available to you.

Two GeForce Now Games Get DLSS Performance Upgrade

Jurassic World Evolution 2 and Hot Wheels Unleashed have added NVIDIA DLSS to both games, which gives gamers on GeForce RTX GPU’s a big performance increase.

DLSS Boosts Performance inJurassic World Evolution 2 by up to 60%

Jurassic World Evolution 2 launches today with NVIDIA DLSS boosting performance by up to 60% for GeForce RTX gamers. 

cid25003*image002.png@01D7D581.F5B05330

Hot Wheels Unleashed Gets Turbocharged with DLSS

Last week GeForce Gamers playing Hot Wheels Unleashed saw their frame rates hit overdrive, when they got a DLSS upgrade that improved performance by up to 50% at 4K.

Image

With this added performance upgrade, every GeForce RTX GPU now speeds past 60FPS at 4K, with every in-game option turned up to max.

To read more about GeForce Now, follow the link below.

https://www.nvidia.com/en-us/geforce-now/

Backbone Gets A Very Welcome Expansion

By @GadgetsKev

If you’re unfamiliar with Backbone, or the Backbone One Controller. I can tell you now that you’re missing out on one of the best ways to play whilst on the go.

Hooking up your iPhone (Android users, keep reading) to the contoller opens up Backbone’s brilliant, clear and very usable UI, via it’s app on the Apple App Store.

You can scroll through all the different platorms it supports, including Apple Arcade, Google Stadia, Xbox Remote Play, Xbox Cloud Gaming, GeForce NOW, and PlayStation Remote Play – I’m sure there’s more that it supports. But those are the top platforms.

So out of this seemingly simple controller add-on, you get quite a vast amount of gaming platforms to choose from, and all powered from your iPhone, the heart of the controller.

Once you hook it up, its orange button lights up and comes alive, giving you endless ways to play, and from anywhere. There’s built in social features, capture & share, streaming, and many more.

The company has even just announced their new Backbone+ subscription plan, and great news, you’ve got the lifetime Backbone+ plan for free if you purchased the Backbone One before todays date (Thurs November 5th 2021).

Anyone getting a Backbone One controller from today will get one year for free as part of the launch. But what’s included I hear you ask?

Backbone+

Check out the new features for Backbone+.

Backbone+ gives players access to:

  • Exclusive perks, like free months of Xbox Game Pass Ultimate, other service free trials, in-game items, and many more perks to come.
  • Access to the revamped Backbone app, including the trove of new features above as well as future ones.

As a gift to all of our current players, we’ll be automatically giving users who created a Backbone account before today free lifetime Backbone+ membership. No action needed. To further commemorate our current players, we will also be offering them early access to the exclusive and limited edition Almighty Shield of Backbone NFT drop made available through the Backbone app.

All new users will also automatically receive 1 year free of Backbone+ membership with their purchase of Backbone One. It renews after 1 year at $4.17/mo billed annually (about the cost of a latte).

Backbone+ is optional. You can still play games with Backbone One without it, but the software experience requires Backbone+ membership.

If you don’t redeem your 1 free year, or decide not to subscribe, the app will still automatically install new software updates to the device to help maintain compatibility with future versions of iOS as well give you access to device info.

Play On Any Screen

As part of the new update, users can now use their Backbone with other devices like iPad, Mac, and PC to play services like Xbox Cloud Gaming and Google Stadia.

Users simply need to access the Controller menu from the Backbone App (With the iPhone connected), and then choose the product you’ll be using a cable with (This allows you to only use one), so for example, if iPad was going to be the main way to play outside of my iPhone. Then it would automatically recognice iPad with the cable plugged in.

Should you want to change it to a MacBook or PC, then you have to go back into the app with your iPhone connected, and change the controller type.

This really does change the game for gaming on the go, and with more devices now supported. You’ll have more way to play and from One controller.

Next-Level Game Recording

Backbone’s game recording, editing, and sharing tools now support 1080p 60 FPS game recording across the entire litany of iOS 15.0 devices (iPhone 6s or later). We’re also supporting HEVC encoding for 60 FPS (enabled by default), meaning your files will be approximately half the size as H.264 encoded videos with roughly the same quality.

Backbone’s ML-powered Activity feature for efficient editing.

With 60 FPS enabled, Backbone supports up to a 30mbps bitrate on select high-end devices. It’s also enabled by default on the latest app update. The game recording quality on your Backbone is now on par with the default on your PS5 and Xbox Series X.

Last 15 Seconds Recording

You can now enable a mode inside of the Backbone app called Smart Record. While in this mode, the Backbone Button will glow yellow, and you can hold down the Capture Button to save the last 15 seconds of gameplay.

The Smart Record mode enables you to capture the last 15 seconds of gameplay.

Twitch Streaming

Streaming to Twitch often requires an expensive and complicated setup.

In the Backbone app, you can now go live on Twitch instantly and share the link with your friends. We’ve refined the entire process to take less than 10 seconds.

Twitch live streams will also automatically populate inside of the app so other Backbone users can see them on the home screen. This will help boost your viewer count (we got you).

Bonus: The Backbone Button glows purple while you’re streaming to Twitch.

Check out more from the official blog post, linked below. And for new updated, go follow @Backbone on twitter.

https://playbackbone.com/blog/announcing-backbone/

Stadia Gets Invite-Less Multiplayer

By @GadgetsKev

The team at Stadia have added a new feature, that allows players to join select games without the need for an invite.

This means that should you be playing Far Cry 6 (One of the supported games) for example, you’re friend will be able to jump in with you, just by joining via your Stadia profile page.

It’s a nice feature to add, and will make joining friends in-game, much simpler.

It’s worth noting that this feature is said to be off by default. Although @TomWarren From the @Verge points out that this was on by defult for one of their Stadia accounts.

You can read more regarding the process for enabling / disabling below:

Let players join your multiplayer game without an invite

Multiplayer games like Far Cry 6 let other players join your game directly from your profile without an invite from you. This feature, available only in select games, is off by default.

To enable it, go into your privacy settings under “Your activity” and “Current game” , then turn on Join your current game. To change who can join games from your profile, choose All players or Friends. Only players in the group you select will be able to join your game.

Stop players from joining

If you don’t want other players to join your game without an invite, go into your privacy settings under “Your activity”,

 “Current game” then turn off Join your current game. You can also select Only you or Private in the dropdown menu.

HONOR Unveils Its New Intelligent Manufacturing Industrial Park

By @GadgetsKev

New Facility Further Strengthens the Brand’s Ability to Produce Premium Products

[SHENZHEN, China–November 4, 2021] – HONOR, a leading global provider of smart devices, today debuted its HONOR Intelligent Manufacturing Industrial Park, the brand’s first self-funded factory. The Park will handle certification of new product quality control, production of flagship devices, new craftsmanship and technology incubations, and building HONOR’s artificial intelligence manufacturing capacities. Through its industry-leading innovations, quality control capabilities and global supply chain partners, HONOR is confident this new facility will support its goal to provide premium products and best-in-class user experiences to global consumers.

“As a premium technology product provider, being able to ensure our standards of reliability and quality will be paramount as we continue our journey to become a leading global technology brand,” said George Zhao, CEO of HONOR Device Co. Ltd. “We are proud to announce the opening of our new manufacturing facility which will be integral to assuring our wider range of premium products are of the highest quality.”

Managing End-to-End Quality Control with the Power of Automation and Intelligence
Automation reduces the variation and defects caused by human errors resulting in greater consistency in quality. HONOR’s Intelligent Manufacturing Industrial Park is equipped with industry-leading high precision automatic manufacturing technology, including an automatic precision assembly machine (for installing the 89° Super Curved Display used in HONOR smartphones) that can achieve assembly precision of up to 75 microns (about a hair’s diameter). The automatic battery assembly equipment adopts high-precision optical detection which can detect foreign bodies (as small as up to 40 microns) and monitor real-time pressure, ensuring safety of batteries produced and reducing safety risks caused by manual work. Seventy-five percent of the production line is completed using automation, of which more than 40 percent was developed by HONOR’s own Research & Development team. HONOR’s automated production line enables one smartphone to leave the line every 28.5 seconds (cycle time).

Quality control is ensured from the manufacturing to testing phase through the close monitoring of every step of the assembly line. When an anomaly is detected, an alert is triggered followed by timely correction of the issue. While the common industry practice is to separate assembly and burn-in testing (offline aging process), HONOR uses an online aging process where assembly and burn-in testing are done in one process. HONOR’s process consists of over 150 prediction tests that quickly detect quality issues and shortens the turnover and testing period.

HONOR has adopted the “manufacturing supermarket” concept to build a lean and intelligent material distribution system. The real-time demand of the production line is linked to the intelligent selection of off shelf components. As a result, colleagues can manage a rapid error-free process of material selection that are then automatically delivered to the production station by Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) across floors and inventory areas. After product packaging is completed, the AGV’s intelligent scheduling system automatically picks up the products.

Creating Premium Products that Go Beyond Industry Standards
After a thorough review of industry standards, certification standards and operator requirements, HONOR created its own quality standards to meet the range of international policies around the world. The company has over 600 quality standards, covering design, development, materials, manufacturing and user experience.

The HONOR Intelligent Manufacturing Industrial Park has industry-leading laboratories, including a reliability laboratory, regulatory laboratory and environmental protection laboratory. This combination of laboratories covers both material and product controls. The Park conducts nearly 200 stringent tests on all incoming materials prior to production and dozens of product tests post production. The inspection scope and frequency go beyond the usual industry practices to ensure HONOR’s products meet the stringent standards it has set for itself.

Promoting a Culture that Values Constant Improvement and Craftsmanship
Ensuring high quality requires constant and continuous improvements, and the commitment of all employees. HONOR provides comprehensive employee training and promotes a culture that values continuous improvements. HONOR also adopts a “quality first, experience wins” strategy in all areas and fields.

HONOR has established a quality inspector system where inspectors representing customers perform unboxing inspections to check if there are any product anomalies. In addition, instead of the random selection inspection that is commonly used in the industry, HONOR adapts a precise sampling system where products with potential flaws are locked down and thoroughly inspected by its quality inspectors. HONOR’s quality inspectors have very strict, zero-defect standards to ensure customers do not receive flawed products.

The Park will serve as an incubator for HONOR’s next generation of manufacturing capabilities, showcasing the company’s abilities to deliver products of the highest level of quality and craftsmanship. Through all these efforts, HONOR hopes to contribute to the advancement of the entire industry, and create consistent, high-quality products and ultimate experiences for consumers.