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!

fresh new look for kwmedia

After my website effectively broke, I looked at my options and decided to freshen things up a little.

So with that, the blog now has a clean light theme, a new logo, and all the unnecessary clutter removed.
Leaving you, the reader with a nicer looking and easier to read page.

I’ve also updated the twitter page with the new logo too. So we have consistency across the brand. Going forward I’ll start to publish and post more from the brand account. Leaving my personal account for any RT’ing to spread the word.

I’m also looking at bringing my other channels and brands into one, so that we have a single account / page to post from, rather than try to run and maintain multiple accounts. An example of this could be bringing News Byte to KWMedia, rather than them both being separate entitites.

All this is something that will take time. So bare with me while I create one singular super account.

Stay tuned and keep a look out for any updates on the blog or via the Twitter account.

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.

The EV Charger(less) Boom

You have an electric car (EV), and you’re driving to your destination and you spot that your battery is getting low. We live in 2021 and with the world turning to renewal energy sources, green and clean ways to mass produce, and electric cars to reduce emissions. You’d think that finding a charger would be as easy as filling up at a petrol station, right? 

WRONG! And the reason I say this, there’s just simply not enough EV chargers around the UK. At least to cater for the demand and growth of the EV car industry.  

I live in a village / town in West Sussex, and to say I have no chargers is an understatement. I have to travel to my local supermarket (4.1miles away) to charge my car at 7kw. If I want a faster charge (22kw), then I have to travel even further (14miles). And you may think. That’s not that far to travel, and I do agree with that. 

4 miles is relatively close, as is 14miles. But if I needed charge desperately. It’s the difference between making it to a charger or effectively having zero percent left in my car and breaking down. 

There’s plenty of chargers don’t me wrong. But they’re few and far between. And even travelling to a place like Brighton, where it does have quite a few around. They’re not really in the main part of Brighton. And when you do find one, they’re quite pricey when combined with the parking costs that you also have to pay. 

The other issue is downtime and being out of order. The amount of times I’ve driven to a charger, to find it’s not working. Meaning I then have to travel even further and use more of the depleting battery to get some charge. It’s quite frankly frustrating and ridiculous. 

So the option you have is to get a charger installed at your home. But even with the governments reduced cost to get one installed. It’s still a big chunk of money to put down and then have to pay energy costs on top – and with energy prices souring right now, I’d be worried to even consider charging at home.

Not everyone can afford the luxury of a home charger. And the amount you generally save on petrol, tax and other costs. Why then waste all that money on high energy costs and home chargers? You may as well stick with petrol and never have to worry. 

I love driving fully electric – It’s such a great feeling, knowing I’m not contributing to more shitty emissions in the air we breathe. But something really has to give. 

We need more public chargers now more than ever. I see people curiously standing and reading signs while I charge publicly. And curiosity eventually converts to sales. So why aren’t we a country that invests more in the infrastructure? We need more public chargers, and we needed them last year.

I hear companies like Shell are investing in more public chargers and this is very welcome.  But it’s going to take time to get out there. And even then, my town and even your town may not be on the rollout list. As I’d imagine, they’ll be installed where the most people buy electric cars. 

We need more publicly available chargers in almost every town, and we need competitive pricing, so that those that want to convert to an EV, have the option to charge while on the go, and not just on a motorway.

When will we get to a point, where we can say we have more than enough chargers around? Time is ticking and the boom has already happened.

#EVChargers #EVInfrastructure #InstallMoreEVChargersUK

Virgin Media O2 Unveils First Electric Van To Help Improve UK Charging Infrastructure

  • Virgin Media O2 has unveiled the first electric vehicle (EV) in its new fleet, as it announces plans to install EV charging points at all its fleet drivers’ homes
  • The company has ordered 280 electric vans as a first step towards moving its 4,300-strong fleet to EVs by 2030
  • Through its ‘dig once’ approach with Liberty Charge (deploying charging points at the same time as fixed and mobile networks) the company is working to supercharge the rollout of electric vehicle infrastructure across the UK

London, 10th November 2021: To coincide with Transport day at COP26 in Glasgow, Virgin Media O2 is today unveiling the first of its new electric vehicles (EVs), as it works to transition its entire fleet to EVs by 2030. Alongside the new zero-emission vehicles, the business is also committed to supporting the rollout of EV charging infrastructure nationwide, offering free charging points to its fleet drivers and continuing to deploy charging points alongside its fixed and mobile network rollout across the UK.

This first step towards Virgin Media O2’s 2030 EV fleet goal has seen the business order 280 new Vauxhall e-Vivaros to carry out service and install visits at customers’ homes nationwide. It will continuously review its fleet and look to transition to battery electric vehicles (BEVs) as quickly as possible to support a greener economy.

Drivers of Virgin Media O2’s 4,300-vehicle fleet will also be offered charging points in their own homes as part of the move. This will enable them to charge their new electric vans overnight and contribute to a cleaner future for UK transport. Virgin Media O2 already offers EV charging for employees at its Slough, Reading and Hammersmith office sites.

Building better EV charging infrastructure

Since 2020, Virgin Media has been working with Liberty Charge (a joint venture between Virgin Media O2 joint owner Liberty Global & Zouk Capital) to install EV charging points alongside its existing infrastructure and ongoing network build programme, and support the transition to EVs. Liberty Charge and Virgin Media O2 are continuing to work together to assess where they can follow a ‘dig once’ strategy – deploying fixed and mobile solutions at the same time as EV charging infrastructure. As well as streamlining the installation process and making it more convenient for all, this helps create the foundations for the smart-city networks of the future.

Tracey Herald, Head of Corporate Responsibility & Sustainability at Virgin Media O2 said: “With a fleet of 4,300 vehicles visiting millions of homes and businesses every year, we have a responsibility to swap to cleaner, more sustainable alternatives as soon as possible. I’m proud that we’re introducing the first EVs to our fleet, and giving our valued field engineers access to the charge points they need to keep moving.

“The only way to encourage businesses and the public to make the switch to EVs in time for the UK’s 2050 net zero target is by making vehicle charging points widely available and accessible to all. We’re eagerly anticipating the Government’s EV strategy and plans for wider infrastructure rollout, and together with Liberty Charge, we’re committed to using our expanding national network and street furniture to help put charging points where they need to be – and drive the UK towards net zero.”

Neil Isaacson, CEO of Liberty Charge adds: “At Liberty Charge, our goal is to tackle the chronic under-supply of easily-accessible on-street charging in the UK and help councils meet the very clear public need of the millions of households who need reliable, cost effective EV charge points close to their home. As our delivery partner, Virgin Media O2 is instrumental to this goal – deploying the infrastructure required and working with local authorities to overcome any delivery obstacles faced. And it doesn’t stop there: by the end of the year, our Charging Network will be operational in 6 local authorities, with more than 500 sockets open to the public and with many, many more to come in 2022.”

Supporting cleaner transport for the future 

Virgin Media O2 is committed to using its digital capabilities to help reduce transport emissions and contribute to the UK’s net zero future. Working with the Smart Mobility Living Lab, it is supporting the development of 5G Connected & Autonomous Vehicles (CAVs) which use connected sensors and stream information from one vehicle to another via the 5G Network in real-time.

5G-connected vehicles cut carbon by allowing for reduced idling, as well as route planning to avoid the most polluted and congested areas. They also enable smarter driving patterns such as lower acceleration rates and platooning (where two vehicles follow each other closely to reduce aerodynamic drag).

As part of its trials, O2 has converted two Renault TWIZY electric cars into CAVs and fitted them with LIDAR sensors, to allow autonomous driving as well as remote control at slow speeds. One of these test vehicles is on display at COP26 – with a simulator experience to give users the opportunity to see, hear and feel what it is like to become a passenger in a 5G-powered CAV.

ITV And Virgin Media O2 Agree Long Term Commercial Partnership

ITV and Virgin Media O2 have today signed a new long term multi-year agreement that delivers deeper integration of ITV programming, support for IPTV, enhanced advertising capabilities and continued access to ITV’s vast range of channels and on-demand services for Virgin TV customers.

The new agreement, which lasts over five years and signals a new commercial relationship between the two companies, includes full integration of the ITV Hub platform onto Virgin TV set-top boxes. This enables viewers to seamlessly search for and watch all of ITV’s ever-growing selection of available programmes, including more full series than ever, on-demand directly from within the ITV Hub – which currently has 34.8 million registered users. A range of new features including programme start over and cloud recording will also be introduced for some Virgin TV customers in future.

This full integration of the ITV Hub platform also brings increased benefits to advertisers through Planet V, ITV’s innovative programmatic addressable advertising platform. Planet V allows both advertisers and agencies control over the planning, purchasing and reporting of their campaigns on ITV Hub, building audiences with first party data and augmenting those audiences with advertisers’ own data.

Looking ahead, ITV’s live channels and the ITV Hub will also be available through Virgin TV’s upcoming IPTV service when it fully launches in early 2022 – the service will offer a seamless app and streaming-based experience powered by the company’s leading ultrafast and gigabit connectivity.  Building further upon the benefits to advertisers under this agreement, ITV will also be able to offer linear addressable advertising via IP delivery through the Planet V platform.

ITV’s wide range of much-loved programmes and content across various genres will receive enhanced prominence across all Virgin TV interfaces, and bespoke curations of content will be made available within the catch-up sections of the provider’s platform. This will help viewers easily discover, access and watch the latest and greatest ITV shows all in one place.

Carolyn McCall, CEO of ITV, said:

“This extended and enhanced commercial agreement brings benefits to both ITV’s viewers and advertisers and the work that Virgin Media O2 is doing to develop its IP proposition advantages both those groups.

As Planet V continues to grow at scale, we’re able to deliver addressable advertising via the fully integrated ITV Hub on the great platform that Virgin Media O2 continues to evolve via both on-demand and linear viewing. Plus our viewers are able to access ITV’s fantastic range of programming more easily than ever before with an enhanced viewing experience.”

Lutz Schüler, CEO of Virgin Media O2, said:

“We have been a longstanding partner of ITV for many years and this new agreement further cements our relationship. It paves the way for future product innovation and delivers more for our customers and our business, as well as enhancing the toolkit available to advertisers.

“Our focus in TV is all about providing incredible entertainment to our customers in a seamless way underpinned by the very best connectivity. As we continue to invest and innovate, having ITV’s vast selection of must-watch programming fully integrated and easily accessible plays a huge part in giving our customers a fantastic experience both now and in the future.”