Exclusive: The Xiaomi Mi 6X is real, here are most of its specifications

Late last month, a mysterious Xiaomi device appeared on the Chinese certification website TENAA. This device was widely believed to be the Xiaomi Mi 6X, though there wasn’t really any hard evidence to base that assumption on. Now, thanks to firmware files obtained by Techreport, we can exclusively report that the device is indeed real, and we can also report on many specifications and features that have not been detailed from the TENAA listing. We can also affirm that the TENAA listing is indeed for the Mi 6X as the filing code (M1804D2SC) matches the internal build number of the device (IS_D2S where C = China). Without further ado, let’s dive into what we know.

The Xiaomi Mi 6X – A Mid-Range Device with Few Compromises

Let’s discuss what we know from the TENAA listing. According to the certification website, there will be three configurations: 4GB RAM + 32GB storage, 6GB RAM + 64GB storage, and also a 6GB RAM + 128GB storage variant. There will be a 5.99″ FHD+ (2160×1080) screen and a 2,910 mAh battery. The dimensions are 158.88×75.54×7.3 (mm) and it weighs 166g. The headphone port is listed as a “shared” port with the charger, which suggests that it’ll lack a 3.5mm headphone jack. There are a few other tidbits from the listing, but we’ll elaborate on those below from our own findings.

The following information is based on firmware files obtained by @FunkyHuawei, the man behind the FunkyHuawei.club service, which allows users to updateunbrick, or rebrand Huawei and Honor phones for a fee. He has shared the files exclusively with XDA-Developers.

Basic Hardware

According to our analysis of the Mi 6X’s firmware, the device will be powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 660 clocked at a maximum 2.0GHz rather than the standard 2.2GHz. The build properties of the device suggest it’ll have a microSD card slot for expandable storage. The panel will be an LCD judging by the lack of any explicit OLED properties (which Xiaomi usually defines in the firmware in order to enable certain features in MIUI). There’s no NFC present, but there is an IR blaster.

Camera

According to the camera configuration, the dual rear cameras will consist of the Sony IMX486 (12MP) sensor with f/1.8 aperture and the Sony IMX376 (20MP) sensor with f/1.8 aperture. On the front, there will be a Sony IMX376 (20MP) with f/2.2 aperture and a front-facing flash. The device will support 4K @ 30fps video recording judging by the media profiles present and the property for 4K recording being set to true. There won’t be any optical zoom, unfortunately. The device will support Portrait Mode, at least.

Software

The device is indeed running Android 8.1 Oreo out of the box with MIUI 9. It’ll have support for Xiaomi’s “AI lens” feature, at least for the Chinese variant.

Release

We aren’t sure when the device will be released, but its release seems imminent since the marketing name appears directly in the firmware. This only happens when a device nears launch, so we believe we’ll hear more from Xiaomi soon. It’s possible that the upcoming event on April 25th will be about the 6X, though there’s no information about what will happen at this event. If we do learn more about the Xiaomi Mi 6X, we’ll be sure to update this article with whatever we find.

How MTN became the best network in South Africa

MTN has been confirmed as having the best mobile network in South Africa by independent network testing from MyBroadband and P3 Communications.

MTN has dethroned Vodacom, which until last year was the top dog in terms of network quality and coverage.

This raises the question: How was MTN able to pass its main rival, which had a strong lead over other operators?

The answer is simple – money. And lots of it.

Over the past three years, MTN has invested over R30 billion in its network, and its network rollout in 2017 was the largest in South Africa’s history.

It is, however, easy to waste money without significant improvements. MTN prevented this by implementing strict network and customer experience key performance indicators (KPIs).

These KPIs informed the capacity required on the network to achieve great service levels for its customers.

MTN said it uses several tools when planning and optimising its network, which include crowd-sourced experience data from MyBroadband’s speed test platform.

MTN’s improvements

MTN’s dual data strategy to improve its network, which focused on 3G and 4G, involved:

  • Radio design improvements.
  • Deploying the latest technology features, including 4×4 MIMO on LTE, LTE Carrier Aggregation, and LTE 256QAM modulation support.
  • Increasing base station backhaul capacity.
  • Expanding its core transport and IP data network capacity.

“Targeted capital investments in our network infrastructure enabled us to deploy the latest technology at cost-effective rates,” said MTN SA executive Jacqui O’Sullivan.

“At the same time, we continue to lower the means to communicate for many of our subscribers, and we will continue to do so.”

MTN is not slowing down, and in 2018 it will invest over R9 billion to further improve its network.

Network investments – MTN vs Vodacom

The table below shows the approximate network investment of MTN and Vodacom over the last three years, based in the companies’ reported CAPEX.

CAPEX and Network Investments
Operator 2015 2016 2017 Total
MTN R10.95 billion R10.98 million R11.47 billion R33.40 billion
Vodacom R8.65 billion R8.75 billion R8.47 billion R25.87 billion

Google Assistant rolling out to the Google Pixel C

The Pixel C has typically received updates several weeks after the other Pixel devices. Google Assistant has taken an unusually long time to arrive on the tablet. Almost every Android device has had this feature for quite some time. Assistant was supposedly pushed to tablets last December, but the Pixel C wasn’t on the list. That finally changes today.

pixel c google assistant

The latest update to the Google app brings Assistant to the Pixel C. Once you have the latest version installed, long-press the home button to set it up. This is obviously the same Assistant from phones, so all the same commands and features will work. We’re not sure why it took so long to bring this feature to the Pixel tablet. Afterall, this is Google’s only tablet right now. Grab the latest APK below to get it on your device.


Download the APK Source: Android Police

Booking.com has more non-hotel listings than Airbnb

Booking.com said it has 5 million non-hotel listings. That’s more than Airbnb , the highly valued startup credited with kicking off the recent trend of staying in peoples’ homes rather than hotels.

Booking Holdings, which changed its name from Priceline Group Inc., said the number of apartments and vacation homes on Booking.com has grown 27 percent to 5 million in the last year. Airbnb, founded in 2008, said it has about 4.85 million, including an estimated 200,000 hotel rooms. Booking had previously only disclosed the number of non-hotel “properties” on its platform, which could have included multiple listings.

Older online travel companies like Booking and Expedia Group Inc. have long been in the business of helping people book accommodations other than hotels, but mostly in the form of vacation rentals. Airbnb burst onto the scene a decade ago and persuaded millions of people around the world to open up their homes to strangers. That gave them a market foothold in major travel cities like Rome and New York. In the last few years, Booking and Expedia have stepped up their efforts to compete with Airbnb as short-term home and apartment rentals became the fastest-growing part of the industry.

“We’ve been pushing hard to add as many amazing homes and apartments to our platform as possible in order to guarantee that we’re providing the choice and diversity our customers crave,” Olivier Gremillon, vice president at Booking.com, said in a statement. “We’re definitely proud of this milestone.”

Airbnb, for its part, said it’s growing faster than Booking on the strength of its brand. Booking, which started in the Netherlands and is more widely known overseas, has increased marketing spending in the U.S. to win over customers who are more familiar with better-known brands like Expedia and Airbnb.

“Airbnb is growing faster and spending less because we have a community model as opposed to Booking’s commodity model,” an Airbnb spokesman said in an email.

Once you use the P20, you will never go back – Huawei

Huawei recently unveiled its new P20 and P20 Pro, its latest flagship smartphones.

The new devices were launched at an event held at the Grand Palais in Paris, France, where Huawei head of global marketing Clement Wong spoke to MyBroadband about the company’s approach towards its pricing.

Wong said the company wants to give as many people as possible access to its high-end devices, and sets its pricing accordingly.

“Our pricing allows people to experiment with the new technology offered by our devices,” said Wong.

“We would like more people to try Huawei.”

Flagship features

Wong said Huawei’s P20 and P20 Pro feature the latest technology, including the company’s Kirin 970 processor with built-in AI chip, and camera systems built in partnership with Leica.

Huawei’s price strategy is evident in South Africa, where its devices are priced lower than Samsung and Apple flagship devices.

The Huawei P20 is priced at R12,999 locally, compared the R15,499 and R15,999 price tags of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and iPhone 8 Plus respectively.

These lower prices, along with the launch of Huawei’s mid-range Lite smartphones, have allowed the company to grow quickly in South Africa and around the world.

The company saw massive growth in South Africa throughout 2017, and the country has become a major foothold for its expansion into Africa.

The adoption of Huawei flagship devices in South Africa almost doubled in 2017, with Huawei’s share of the local premium smartphone market sitting at 13.8% by the end of the year, it said.

Wong told MyBroadband that they aim to increase adoption by creating attractive pricing relative to other flagship devices on the market.

He said that once customers had purchased a Huawei flagship device, they would not go back to other smartphone brands.

“Once they use the P20 or P20 Pro, I can guarantee those customers will continue to use Huawei P-series smartphones going forward,” said Wong.

“Our focus is on making great products, and our market share will grow along with the increasing adoption of our devices.”

(MyBroadBand)

OnePlus 6 name confirmed

The quick 4-second video flashes the phrase “THE SPEED YOU NEED” and the number 6, which confirms it will indeed be called the OnePlus 6. That speed will come from the Snapdragon 845, which was confirmed by OnePlus CEO Pete Lau on Weibo. He also said the device will have 8GB of RAM and 256GB of storage. This will be the first OnePlus device with that much storage.

The last bit of OnePlus 6 news will peak the interest of comic book fans. Last year, OnePlus launched a special edition of the OnePlus 5T for Star Wars: The Last Jedi. It was only available in a few select countries, but it was a cool offering. This year, their flagship phone is looking to tie-in with Avengers: Infinity War. The video above was accidentally published to Facebook (mirrored below by AndroidCentral). It features the OnePlus and Avengers logos in quick succession. The post was pulled down, but it’s pretty obvious there will be some sort of connection.

We don’t know the official release date of the OnePlus 6, but Infinity War will be in theaters April 27th worldwide. It’s possible we could see the OnePlus 6 at that time. OnePlus released the Star Wars edition just a couple of days before The Last Jedi arrived in theaters. Hopefully, the Avengers edition will not be so region restricted. We should know more about the OnePlus 6 announcement, release date, and more in the coming weeks.

Huawei P20 vs Samsung Galaxy S9 – The showdown

Huawei recently unveiled its P20 and P20 Pro smartphones, which are set to compete with flagship products from manufacturers like Apple and Samsung.

The new devices sport impressive cameras, an overhauled bezel-less display, and powerful chips.

Samsung has also focused on improved mobile camera technology with its new Galaxy S9 and S9+ smartphones.

The primary rear camera on the Galaxy S9 is the first mobile camera to have a variable aperture, which changes via a physical manipulation of the lens.

The Huawei P20 also sports an impressive camera, with the P20 Pro featuring a triple-lens system on the rear.

To see how the devices compare, we looked at the specifications, features, and pricing of the Samsung Galaxy S9 and Huawei P20.

Galaxy S9 vs P20

Specifications Samsung Galaxy S9 Huawei P20
Dimensions 147.7 x 68.7 x 8.5 mm 149.1 x 70.8 x 7.7 mm
Weight 163g 165g
OS Android 8 Android 8
Display 5.8-inch 1,440 x 2,960 AMOLED 5.84-inch 1,080 x 2,280 IPS LCD
Rear camera 12MP f/1.5 and f/2.4 12MP f/1.8 and 20MP f/1.6 Leica
Front camera 8MP f/1.7 24MP f/2.0
Storage 64GB, MicroSD 128GB
RAM 4GB 4GB
Processor 2.7GHz + 1.7GHz Octa-core Exynos 9810 2.4GHz + 1.8GHz Octa-core Kirin 970
Battery 3,000mAh 3,400mAh
Cellular LTE LTE
SIM Nano (Single/Dual) Nano (Single/Dual)
Durability IP68 IP53
Biometrics Fingerprint, iris, face Fingerprint, iris, face
RRP R15,499 R11,999

Galaxy S9+ vs P20 Pro

Samsung Galaxy S9 Pro vs Huawei P20 Pro

Specifications Samsung Galaxy S9+ Huawei P20 Pro
Dimensions 158.1 x 73.8 x 8.5 mm 155.0 x 73.9 x 7.8 mm
Weight 189g 180g
OS Android 8 Android 8
Display 6.2-inch 1,440 x 2,960 AMOLED 6.1-inch 1,080 x 2,280 AMOLED
Rear camera 12MP f/1.5-2.4 and 12MP f/2.4 40MP f/1.8, 8MP f/2.4, and 20MP f/1.6 Leica
Front camera 8MP f/1.7 24MP f/2.0
Storage 128GB, MicroSD 128GB
RAM 6GB 6GB
Processor 2.7GHz + 1.7GHz Octa-core Exynos 9810 2.4GHz + 1.8GHz Octa-core Kirin 970
Battery 3,500mAh 4,000mAh
Cellular LTE LTE
SIM Nano (Single/Dual) Nano (Single/Dual)
Durability IP68 IP67
Biometrics Fingerprint, iris, face Fingerprint, iris, face
RRP R17,999 R15,999

Cutting-edge cameras

Both the Galaxy S9+ and P20 Pro boast upgraded camera systems compared to the standard devices in their respective ranges, featuring dual and triple-lens cameras respectively.

The cameras on the standard Galaxy S9 and Huawei P20 are still impressive, however, and each has its own unique features.

Taking low-light shots using the Galaxy S9 is easy thanks to its variable aperture, which automatically adjusts depending on lighting conditions and can be manually manipulated in Pro shooting mode.

The Huawei P20’s camera is supplemented by an array of integrated AI features, made possible by the Kirin 970 chipset’s built-in neural processing unit.

This means the camera can automatically adjust settings depending on the subject of the photo, using its AI chip to perform real-time object recognition.

Both camera systems take excellent photos and videos, and both support slow-motion video recording at 960 frames-per-second.

The photos we took on both devices are some of the best we’ve seen from a smartphone camera – with the Galaxy S9’s variable aperture making a notable difference in low-light shots, and Huawei’s intelligent image processing finding the ideal settings for any subject.

Galaxy S9

Features and pricing

Huawei has overhauled its P-series design for its P20 lineup, with the new devices sporting a notched display which stretches across almost the entire front face of the smartphone.

Samsung has retained its curved, edge-to-edge display it created for the Galaxy S8 range for its new smartphones, although it has now managed to fit in stereo speakers while also slightly increasing the display coverage.

Both the Huawei P20 and Samsung Galaxy S9 sport modern, bezel-less designs, and both devices have a screen-to-body ratio greater than 80%.

The standard Galaxy S9’s display is an OLED panel with an impressive high-resolution screen, which is great for watching videos.

The P20 Pro has an IPS LCD panel which stretches around a notch at the top of the device. This houses it impressive 24MP front camera.

For users who are not a fan of the notch, it can be toggled on and off in the device’s display settings – effectively blacking out the display on either side of the front camera.

The Galaxy S9 and P20 also come equipped with fingerprint sensors – at the back of the device below the camera and on the front of the smartphone below the screen respectively – and facial recognition systems.

Huawei P20 Pro PC

The Huawei P20 and Samsung Galaxy S9 are available at the following prices in South Africa.

Samsung

  • Samsung Galaxy S9 – R15,499
  • Samsung Galaxy S9+ – R17,999

Huawei

  • Huawei P20 – R11,999
  • Huawei P20 Pro – R15,999