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Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 Pro: The King of The Low End

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Xiaomi’s Redmi series have been gaining popularity among Smartphone users over the past few years and for good reasons. Its low price points and amazing features have given them a vivid competitive advantage against competitors like Samsung and Apple. So much so that even other Chinese players have found them hard to compete with. Xiaomi has since been cranking out quality Smartphones and becoming one of the leading Smartphone brands in recent years.

This year, Xiaomi has introduced its trump cards, the Xiaomi Redmi Note 3, to capture the low-mid end market, being the successor of one of Xiaomi’s best-selling phone series, Redmi Note. Once again, Xiaomi has proven itself to be a company which is capable of coming up with great design and build quality.

After pushing powerful components and cutting prices, Xiaomi has started to focus on premium aesthetics and build quality, which appeals more to its users. This new budget-centric smartphone will surprise its users with its array of flagship and premium features such as its metallic design, excellent build, as well as its fingerprint sensor.

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 : The Specifications

Credits to : SpecOut

Full-Metal Body Featuring a Fingerprint Scanner

Redmi Note 3 Pro Color

With most Smartphone makers now using metal builds for their upcoming smartphones, it is not surprising that Xiaomi is also jumping on this bandwagon with its latest Redmi Note series. Although the Redmi Note 3 may feature some design elements of its predecessor, it is the first Xiaomi Smartphone that sports an all metal body which gives it a more premium look as compared to the matte finish plastic build of the Redmi Note 2. It is incredibly gorgeous in its gold incarnation (which is also available in dark grey and silver) with a sandblasted smooth outer shell and featuring a 5.5-inch full-HD IPS display. There is a thin, glossy rim that runs along the edge of the front facia, which is elevated above the rest of the front display which helps to protect it from scratches when the phone is placed face-down.

Redmi Note 3 Pro Rear

Turn the device around and the resemblance to the rear side on the Meizu MX5 is uncanny. This new device also features a round fingerprint scanner, located just below the 16MP camera on the rear side, allowing its users to use the fingerprint scanning capability more efficiently. The smooth matte finishes of the metal body help to prevent unwanted fingerprints and provide a better grip for its users. Taking a closer look at the device, the power button and volume controls are spotted on the right side of the Note 3, and provide exceptional tactile feedback and responsiveness.

While on its left, the device houses the SIM card tray which can accommodate both a micro-SIM card and a nano-SIM card (or a microSD memory card). Both slots are capable of supporting 4G network.

It is surprising that the Redmi Note 3 can include an aluminium body with so many aesthetic details in a Smartphone that costs below S$300, the kind of premium feel and build quality that is unseen for a device at this price point.

Fingerprint Sensor for Added Security

Redmi Note 3 Pro Fingerprint

Fingerprint sensors are making smartphones personal and more secure at an entirely whole new level, and the Redmi Note 3 is the company’s first smartphone to incorporate this fingerprint scanning technology. The scanning device uses Trustonic’s TEE chip-level fingerprint security which is at the same level of protection as that of the Apple’s Touch ID. This new feature allows users to unlock their phones in just 0.3 seconds and with just a contact on the fingerprint sensor with the finger. For the Redmi Note 3, this security enclave is created with the help of Qualcomm Secure Execution Environment.

Other than for unlocking purposes, the fingerprint sensor can also be used to enable Child mode and File Explorer, allowing its users to have more control over their devices.

Just a small note to users is that the Redmi Note 3 will need to take about 12 scans to register a fingerprint and to setup the feature. Users can register up to five fingerprints on their devices.

Super Performance with Qualcomm Snapdragon 650

Redmi Note 3 is really fast – flagship fast. The device might be a low budget smartphone but there is certainly nothing low-end about the power it contains. It is fuelled by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 650 chipset paired with an Adreno 510 GPU and 3GB RAM. The Snapdragon 650 packed in the device has a hexa-core processor with two Cortex A72 cores and four Cortex A53 cores. Like its predecessor, the Note 3 delivers more performance than its price tag would suggest. Everything is very smooth, and minimal lag is experienced when running more processor-intensive tasks. All in all, the Redmi Note 3 excels in performance when compared with competition in this price range.

MIUI 7 based on Android 5.1.1 Lollipop

MIUI 7

The Redmi Note 3 runs on MIUI 7 on top of its Android 5.1.1 Lollipop, similar to the Redmi Note 2. On the Note 3, the MIUI 7 interface has been optimized to run 30% faster; it is fast and supports a theme store with a diverse selection of options to customize the phone. MIUI 7 also has a bunch of well-designed apps for things like email, notes, data usage tracking, remote controls for appliances and texting for its users. Topped up the MIUI 7 is a new feature that allows four individualized UI themes which will offer different characters to the phone – High Lief, Rose, Pink Blush and Ocean Breeze.

Redmi Note 3 Pro UI

Xiaomi has done a fantastic job with its theme store which allows its users to switch up the look and feel of the Note 3 with just a couple of taps, and there is an ever-expanding range of themes to choose from. Overall, MIUI 7 offers a pleasant user experience and performs very well across the board.

16 MP Sensor Focusing on Quality

Redmi Note 3 Photos

Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 sports a 16-megapixel rear camera and a 5-megapixel front-facing camera. The rear camera has a wide f/2.0 aperture which allows both landscapes and macro shots captured in daylight with good details. Colour reproduction is excellent too.

In addition to its high megapixel count, Redmi Note 3 has dual ISP processing capability for producing exceptional image quality. Photos produced by the device have visibly lesser noise and enhanced dynamic range. Xiaomi has also added on the timelapse and slow motion feature among other features for video shooting as well along with a full-HD video recording support.

Redmi Note 3 Key Features

Full Metal Body – Sturdy and resilient frame which has an added elegance in its design.

16 MP Camera – Strength in producing professional quality photos with 0.1s Phase Detection Autofocus (PDAF) and powerful dual image signal processor. Paired with its 5MP front-facing camera.

Fingerprint Sensor – First device by Xiaomi with this feature for added security.

Dual Sim – Ability to accommodate a micro-SIM card and a nano-SIM card. Best of both worlds!

MIUI 7 – Beautiful and intuitive, with the ability to customize the phone with thousands of themes, wallpapers, icons and more.

My Take on Xiaomi Redmi Note 3

The Redmi Note 3 is a well-rounded smartphone, both literally and figuratively, that punches above its weight. The full metal body and fingerprint sensor are good-to-have additions to the Redmi series, and make the Note 3 feels relevant in 2016. It offers exemplary build quality, solid performance, and a great feature set. The MIUI 7 has also been improved as compared to previous versions and it is quite likable.

Powered by Snapdragon 650, it is primed to be one of the most powerful low-end devices in the market right now. In conclusion. I find that Xiaomi Redmi Note 3 is easily one of the best smartphones available in the market at this price point. A phone that packs all the essential features needed, as well as powerful add-ons that make this device hard to resist.

Looking ahead, I have high hopes for what Xiaomi plans to bring in to compete with its competitors. It is surely a brand that we need to keep a lookout for.

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5 Things You’ll Love about The New Microsoft Surface Pro

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5 Things You'll Love about The New Microsoft Surface Pro

Many big brands have been eyeing on the title of the “best enterprise hybrid tablet” since the launch of Apple iPad Pro and Samsung TabPro S. However; no one has managed to live up to the Surface Pro, which was hailed as one of the fastest adopted enterprise tablets soon after its release.

If you are looking for a detachable PC, or simply a 2-in-1 device that can allow you to work on the go like a tablet while running on Windows Operating System (OS), Microsoft’s latest Surface Pro may be your best bet. At a starting price of S$1,188 (US$799), this Microsoft tablet offers a sophisticated design, a near flawless display and solid performance across the board.

There’s a lot to love about the new Surface Pro, and it’s not just about its new processor or a few upgrades. Here are a few things that you should take away when considering the Microsoft Surface Pro.

Windows OS

Surface Pro - Microsoft Office

Microsoft has been creating OS for PCs for the longest time, and it is no surprise that the Surface Pro is adopting Windows 10 as its Operating System. The Surface Pro is designed for the full Windows 10 and Office experience, allowing you to run programs easily just like any desktops and laptops on the market. The ability to run Microsoft Office on Windows is also a critical winning factor over other tablets running on Android and iOS.

Superior PixelSense Display

The display is a work of art and a thing of beauty. The Surface Pro comes with brilliant color and razor-sharp resolution on the 12.3in, 3:2 screen with 2736 x 1824 pixels (267ppi). That’s even better than the iPad Pro (264ppi for 13-inch) and also the MacBook Air (128ppi). This stunning display also responds well to the new Surface Pen and touch.

Versatility and Power

The Surface Pro can operate in 3 modes – Laptop, Studio, and Tablet.

Surface Pro - Modes
In the Laptop Mode, you can transform Surface Pro into a working laptop by opening the built-in Kickstand and adding on the Surface Pro Type Cover allowing full keyboard experience.

In the Studio Mode, you can lower the Kickstand further, placing the Surface Pro at a perfect angle for the writing and drawing with the new Surface Pen.

In the Tablet Mode, you can close the Kickstand, and remove or fold Surface Pro Type Cover back for a powerful, stand-alone tablet.

Thanks to a powerful Intel® Core™ processor with up to 50% more battery life than its predecessor and 2.5x more performance than Surface Pro 3, the new Surface Pro delivers exceptional power and performance.

Amazing Pen-and-Ink Experience

With the new Surface Pro, Microsoft has a brand-new processor that dramatically cuts down inking latency (the “lag” between the pen tip movement and visible digital ink), and it raised the levels of pressure from 1,024 to 4,096.

Also, a new tilt feature has been introduced which allows you to shade on the Surface Pro. These features allow the Surface Pro to compete with drawing tablets like Wacom and serve as an alternative for creatives.

Lightweight and Ultraportable

Surface Pro - Portable

If you always find yourself to be on the road for business, whether you are traveling by car, plane or train, and you want something that isn’t going to weigh you down or take up a lot of space to carry along. The Surface Pro is the right device for you. At about 8.5mm (0.33”) of thickness with a 770g (1.70 lbs) weight, it throws the stereotype of “cumbersome business laptop” out the window.

Despite its compact build, the Surface Pro is not sacrificing any of its power, allowing you to say productive, but at the same time, it offers all the entertainment features you’ll want in your leisure time.

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Microsoft Surface Pro (2017): Small, Yet Powerful 2-in-1

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Surface Pro 2017 - Cover

Microsoft has been creating working frameworks for PCs for the longest time. However, it was just in 2012 that it started making PCs that it can consider its own. The PC, known as the Surface, denoted Microsoft’s entrance into the tablet market, and this 2-in-1 gadget has been refined and enhanced throughout the years. The Surface family has always represented the organization’s vision for the future of personal computing.

Despite its current popularity, the early Surface gadgets weren’t especially generally welcomed. They were heavy, bulky, costly, and didn’t work that well at all. In any case, that changed when Microsoft introduced the Surface Pro 3 in May 2014. The improvements, however slight, are well considered and greatly enhanced the ease of use of the Surface Pro 3. Furthermore, in late 2015, Microsoft refreshed the Surface Pro lineup with the Surface Pro 4, which accompanied huge enhancements over the Surface Pro 3. Even with all the competitions, the Surface Pro 4 remained one of the top favorite Windows 10 detachable tablets and emerged as one of the best-selling Surface products. Since then, the Surface family has taken the business world by storm and becoming the market leader in its category.

Now, after slightly more than 18 months in the market, Microsoft has finally rolled out the fifth generation in the Surface family – not Surface Pro 5, but simply Surface Pro.

Solid Specifications and Impressive Performance


Credits to : Microsoft Surface

The first upgrade from its predecessor includes adding Intel’s Kaby Lake processor, with the top-end model sporting the Core i7 along with the 16GB RAM to significantly increase its performance. (Available CPU model options are Core m3-7Y30, Core i5-7300U and Core i7-7660U processors.) This tweak racks up its benchmark score, beating the majority of its rivals hands down, including the Dell XPS 13, the Surface Laptop and even the HP Elitebook X360. (Click here for full specifications)

This upgrade also drives better power efficiency, which equals to longer battery life. The new Surface Pro also comes with a slightly larger 45Wh battery as compared to the Surface Pro 4 at only 39Wh. And, based on my regular usage, I can use it all day without plugging in power. In this aspect, Microsoft has made a real all-day machine here, which is excellent for frequent travelers or usage on-the-go.

Crisp Display and 10 Point Multi-touch

Surface Pro 2017 - Display

The touchscreen function has also been an essential part of the Surface family, and you can expect the New Surface Pro to come with a new display technology that will improve the accuracy of the touchscreen both for fingers and for the Surface Pen.

Adding on, the Surface Pro features a 12.3in, 3:2 display with 2736 x 1824 pixels. It equates to 267ppi, and it’s plenty enough to make everything look nice and crisp. Brightness is blazing, and the deep contrast levels make it as great for both office work as well as entertainment. Colour accuracy is also superb, with no particular weaknesses. This tablet is great for graphic designers!

Sleek Design

The Surface Pro enjoys the same outstanding attention to detail as every other tablet gadgets in the market, and Microsoft’s ability to produce extremely well-built machines is as apparent as always. Simply put, the Surface Pro is solid as a rock and exudes a certain futuristic quality.

Comparing the Surface Pro with its predecessors, it is not that hard to spot the differences. For starters, the new Surface Pro is much less angular and soften with more rounded corners. The exhaust vents along the edges are also less pronounced as compared to the previous models.

The newly redesigned hinge allows the Surface Pro to tilt up to 165 degrees, allowing it to lie almost entirely flat, which Microsoft calls it the “Studio Mode.” The hinge no longer snaps (for safety) if you push it too far, and Microsoft claims that the hinge would not break if you lean on it too much. The “Studio Mode” comes very handy for illustrators and designers to sketch and design with ease.

Another feature of the Surface Pro is its fan-less design (for the Core m3 and Core i5 models). This feature enables for quieter operations. The i7 model, on the other hand, has an enhanced cooling system that is even quieter and less intrusive under load.

Ports remain unchanged, so you get a USB 3.0, a mini-DP video output and a 3.5mm headphone jack. The microSDXC card reader is embedded hidden under the kickstand.

In general, the Surface Pro (i5 model) comes in at the about 8.5mm of thickness with a 770g weight. Considering that Microsoft accomplished this while packing inside a 20% larger battery, and other upgrades, it’s an impressive feat.

Improved Typing Experience with Signature Type Cover

Surface Pro 2017 - Type Cover

Surface Pro 2017 - Type Cover 2

The Signature Alcantara® Type Cover is a marked improvement in comfort over the previous version, and worth the slight price upgrade. The Alcantara® material provides a perfect blend of sophisticated style, comfort, and technology. It has full-sized keys, LED backlighting, and a large glass trackpad. Available in three colors: Platinum, Burgundy, and Cobalt Blue.

Surface Pen With a Big Boost

Surface Pro 2017 - Pen

Unlike the Surface Pro 4, the new Surface Pro doesn’t include the Surface Pen. Pressure sensitivity has been quadrupled from 1,024 to 4,096, a new tilt feature has been included which allows creatives to shade on their Surface Pro, and latency has been reduced drastically to 21ms on the Surface Pro. The combination makes the Surface Pro one of the best inking experiences on the market, and an excellent tool for digital drawing and handwriting.

Final Verdict

I’ve used many tablets (including Asus Google Nexus 7, Samsung Galaxy Note 8.0, iPad Mini 4, iPad Air 2, etc) but there’s no doubt this Surface Pro is the best one yet. It is a superb 2-in-1, beautifully built and performs well. It’s expensive, but worth it for its excellent design, build quality, and features. It comes as a useful business and design device.

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Gamevice – Making Your Phone A Portable Gaming Powerhouse

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Gamevice - Cover

The mobile gaming market is growing and will expect to grow even further. With the improvement in technology, mobile devices are one of the most powerful handheld game systems you can buy today. They are capable of displaying rich details and bringing world-class gaming experience that outstrips what you can find on a Nintendo 3DS or PlayStation Vita.

With the growth of mobile gaming market, publishers are increasingly willing to develop more game titles for the eager players. Along with this, players are also progressively hungrier and more demanding for a better gaming experience. And they want the mobile gaming market to bridge the gap between them and the mainstream gaming market. But mobile devices are missing a critical aspect that a lot of gamers still crave: a physical gamepad with buttons and joysticks.

Gamevice is a holster that the mobile device snaps into, covering the left and right sides of its chassis. It is the next big thing that can easily transform your mobile devices into handheld gaming consoles. Rather than sliding your fingers across a glass surface, or swinging your phone around to steer a vehicle, you get a D-pad, buttons, analog sticks, and triggers, just like any controller on a gaming console.

(more…)

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