Your tech digest, by way of the DGiT Daily newsletter, for Tuesday, March 24.
1. Redmi K30 Pro: Xiaomi’s latest and now greatest
- As per Xiaomi’s formula, the K30 Pro looks to be another strong combination of price and performance.
- But this year it is quite a bit more expensive than last year’s best phones in the K20 Pro/Mi 9T Pro, which I reviewed as one of my first Xiaomi phones in Europe. (TL;DR: Great, but the software is annoying, and not up to Google’s Pixel line, Samsung, or OnePlus. Unless you liked Mi everything. Which I don’t know anyone who does. Anyway.)
K30 Pro: What you get
- As broken down by my colleague Hadlee Simons, the Redmi K30 Pro is a 6.67-inch OLED phone, packing a Snapdragon 865, quad-camera with 8K recording in a circular housing, pop-up selfie camera, headphone jack, 5G capabilities, NFC, and a more expensive variant called the “zoom edition”.
- The displays are 1080p AMOLED panels, but capped at a standard 60Hz refresh rate which is different to other flagships and might serve to save battery life and costs.
- There’s no wireless charging but 33W wired charging should charge to 100% in just over an hour.
- The K30 Pro Zoom Edition is the extra extra Pro, offering the same phone with a more complete camera offering, adding OIS to the 64MP main camera, and swapping out a macro lens on the standard for a 8MP 3x telephoto shooter with OIS.
- Battery life will be interesting. Both pack a 4,700mAh battery, but with 5G demands that figure doesn’t tell us much.
- When this device comes to Europe and wider markets, it will likely be known as the Xiaomi Mi 10T or Mi 10T Pro, but there’s a chance it becomes the base device for the Pocophone F2 as well.
- Not that I’ve ever really understood Xiaomi’s naming conventions.
- As for distributing widely in US with the right carrier bands on board, that now seems less likely now than ever before.
- The K30 Pro starts at 2,999 yuan (~$424) for the 6GB/128GB model, which is quite a bit more expensive than last year’s K20 which started at 2,599 yuan (~$367). The K30 Pro Zoom Edition starts at 3,799 yuan (~$537) for the 8GB/128GB variant.
- That’s nearly all because of the cost of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 and its 5G capabilities.
- In terms of competition in the Snapdragon 865 stakes out of China, the Realme X50 Pro 5G starts at 3599 yuan in China (~$510) offering a 90Hz screen and telephoto lens compared to the standard K30 Pro (2,999 yuan/~$424).
- Either way, both the new Realme X50 and Redmi K30 models are more expensive than their predecessors.
- And that may test Xiaomi’s power to overcome in both this period of economic upheaval and its more true value options which remain high-performers.
- This is as close as Xiaomi has come to an unaffordable flagship.
2. Camera shootout: Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra vs Apple iPhone 11 Max Pro. Both show amazing photography, with close results (Android Authority).
3. Disney Plus is now available in the UK and most of Europe, and as a treat, here’s the best Simpsons episodes you can watch again (this list only touches on the mastery) (Android Authority).
4. Huawei has a clever way of making big camera modules more useful (Android Authority).
5. Valve’s massive VR foray Half-Life: Alyx is out and so reviews: “The greatest VR adventure game yet—and then some,” says Ars Technica, “Half-Life: Alyx is the best that VR, and Valve, have to offer,” agrees Polygon, while Engadget says “Half-Life: Alyx is the flagship single-player experience that the VR industry needs right now.”
The only problem is you need a VR set, and the cheapest option in the VR biz is the $399 Oculus Quest which you can’t get right now due to the pandemic. VR is just pricey for mainstream gamers but for those already invested, you’ve got a game on your hands.
6. Microsoft warns Windows users of two security holes already under attack – a patch is likely April 14th (Engadget).
7. Apple’s App Store is finally launching in 20 new countries this year, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Serbia, Kosovo, Maldives, Morocco, and Rwanda, bringing it to 175 total countries. For what it’s worth, Google’s Play Store is in 138 countries based on its terms here (9to5Mac). Plus, first 2020 iPad Pro order arrives ahead of schedule, offering early look at benchmark results: if they’re accurate, there’s not much difference with the new processors to the 2018/2019 iPad Pro.
8. The New York Times acquired Audm, a subscription app that turns longform articles into high-quality audio. I used this a bit but $9 a month was a little steep (TechCrunch).
9. Scientists find a superconductor in bits of meteorite (Gizmodo).
10. Dogs Working From Home is the Instagram account we need (Instagam)
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