Apple announced iOS 16 during the WWDC 2022 keynote. The upcoming software for iPhones is full of new features, but there are a few that are going to be extra nice when you can get your hands on iOS 16 later this fall. Here are the five best features of this upcoming operating system.
Edit, unsend, and unread Messages on iOS 16.
iOS 16 is bringing some major improvements to iMessage. When it’s available to all users, you’ll have 15 minutes to edit or unsend any messages. This is very useful for when you misspelled a word or send the wrong message to the wrong person.
Unread, on the other hand, is useful to help you keep track on what messages you want to answer later. It’s important to notice that at least edit and unsend message features will need all devices to be running iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13 Ventura, or watchOS 9.
A brand new Lock Screen to your current iPhone
The most important feature of iOS 16 – or at least the most noticeable – is the new Lock Screen. It offers a handful of new customization, letting you edit the Lock Screen almost any way you want.
It’s easy to customize the font, color, or placement of elements on your Lock Screen by tapping them. With multilayered photo effect, photo subjects are dynamically displayed in front of the time to make the subject of the photo pop.
In addition, you can also add, for the first time, widgets to the Lock Screen in iOS 16 — and not only widgets made by Apple, but third-party widgets as well.
Live Text in video is groundbreaking.
Live Text was already great with iOS 15. You could grab information from a photo by selecting the text available, a telephone or address, for example.
Now, with Live Text in videos, text is completely interactive in paused video frames, so you can use functions like copy and paste, lookup, and translate.
In addition, Live Text with iOS 16 adds recognition of Japanese, Korean, and Ukrainian text. Last but not least, data detected in photos and videos is actionable with a single tap. Track flights or shipments, translate foreign languages, convert currencies, and more.
Focus Mode is getting even more useful in iOS 16.
With iOS 15, I said Focus Mode was the most important feature of the update. Now, this function is getting even better.
For example, the Lock Screen can link with your Focus Mode. So if you’re working, your Lock Screen will reflect the Focus set.
With Focus filters, you can set Apple apps like Calendar, Mail, Messages, and Safari to draw boundaries for each Focus you enable. In addition, you can have a Focus turn on automatically at a set time or location, or while using a certain app, which is more useful than just a particular time.
For a passwordless future, meet Passkeys in iOS 16.
Passkeys plans to replace passwords with an easier and safer sign-in method by using your face or fingerprint with Face ID/Touch ID.
It’s protected agains phishing and website leaks, since passkeys never leave your device and are specific to the site you created them for, making it almost impossible for them to be phished or hacked.
In addition, Passkeys syncs across devices and lets you sign in to other devices. Apple says that it is trying to reach an industry standard so you can sign in to websites or apps on other devices, including non-Apple devices, with your saved passkey by scanning the QR code with your iPhone or iPad and using Face ID or Touch ID to authenticate.
After officially launching almost two months ago the Android 12-based LineageOS 19 is expanding to more handsets once again. This time those with the OnePlus 9 and 9 Pro alongside the Xiaomi Poco X3 Pro and budget Mi A1 can now flash LineageOS 19 on their devices (h/t XDA). For those with the latter Xiaomi handsets, this is the most recent software build that you can access and might provide a more consistent update path moving forward.
While Android 12 is already available for the OnePlus 9 series and Poco X3 Pro, the Mi A1 shipped with Android One and has only been officially updated as far as Android 9 Pie. As mentioned, this might be a way to extend the lifespan of your devices given that support for older handsets from the likes of Xiaomi and OnePlus can be sporadic or limited at best.
It’s also important to note that LineageOS 19 is actually based upon Android 12.1/12L, a build that is not yet officially available for the OnePlus 9, 9 Pro, and Poco X3 Pro. That means that if you truly want the latest and greatest version of Android on your smartphone, LineageOS 19 might provide you with that option.
Should you want to flash LineageOS 19 on your device, you can find build/device links with specific device installation instructions:
Google apps do not come pre-installed with LineageOS builds. You will, therefore, need to flash a GApps package to retain access to the Play Store and important Google apps and services. Luckily, there is a solid guide from the team behind the ROM that you can refer to here.
Apple Store is down ahead of WWDC Apple event: iOS 16, new MacBook Air, and more
The Apple Store is down ahead of Apple’s WWDC 2022 keynote later today, with a new placeholder page that reads ‘Developing news’. The ceremonial store-going-down dance usually indicates that Apple is preparing to announce new hardware products.
Of course, the main star of the show today will be on the operating system updates; we expect Apple to unveil major new features for iOS 16, iPadOS 16, macOS 13, watchOS 9 and tvOS 16. Some new hardware announcements are also in the cards …
iOS 16 will be the star of the show, featuring new lock-screen widget functionality, updates to Messages and Health apps, and more. iPadOS updates are expected to include significant advancements when it comes to multitasking multiple apps at a time, perhaps adding desktop-style resizable windows for the first time.
Betas for iOS 16 and other Apple operating systems will be made available to developers today. A release date for public beta testing will likely come next month, with a public release set for the fall.
Although WWDC is usually thought of as a software event, Apple periodically uses the event to announce new hardware too.
This year, the rumor mill is expecting Apple to unveil a new generation MacBook Air, perhaps featuring second-generation Apple Silicon ‘M2’ chip, thinner screen bezels and an enclosure redesign reminiscent of the 2021 MacBook Pro models. Availability of the new laptops is expected to be severely constrained due to ongoing supply chain production shortages.
We also expect Apple to preview the Apple Silicon Mac Pro today. The new Mac Pro probably won’t go on sale until the end of the year, though. Both the 2013 and 2019-generation Mac Pro models were also unveiled first at WWDC as a sneak peek, before a winter release.
Other M2-revved product launches are possible, such as a base model M2 13-inch MacBook Pro and M2 Mac mini. The M2 will build upon the tremendous performance and energy efficiency of the Apple-designed M1 chip, which first debuted in October 2020.
WWDC 2022 kicks off with tours of the new Apple Developer Center; here’s a look inside
WWDC 2022 officially kicks off tomorrow, but developers who were invited to the event are getting a head start as Apple is offering tours of its all-new Developer Center, which is located on the Apple Park Campus. Images posted to Twitter have offered our first look inside the Developer Center, which features different rooms named after macOS releases, the Big Sur Theater, and much more.
While WWDC 2022 officially starts tomorrow, developers already in Cupertino can attend a special Open House event at the Developer Center today. Developer Paul Hudson has been sharing a slew of pictures from inside the Developer Center on Twitter, and it appears to be as impressive as you’d expect any building on the Apple Park campus to be.
As you can see in the images posted by Hudson below, the Developer Center features different rooms that are all named after macOS releases, including Panther, Tiger, Leopard, and El Capitan. Inside those rooms, developers will find a wide array of technology as well as whiteboards, TVs, and more for meetings and sessions.
One of the highlights of the new Developer Center is the Big Sur Theater, which appears to be a scaled-down version of Steve Jobs Theater — but equally as impressive. There’s a large stage with a massive screen, plush seating for developers, and more.
Throughout the rest of the Developer Center, Hudson says you can find a variety of easter eggs, pieces of classic Apple hardware, and more. Developers also received a swag package consisting of a T-shirt, a hat, a water bottle, and a collection of enamel pins.
You can view all of the pictures from Hudson below. The Developer Center will be open for those developers already at Apple Park until 6 p.m. local time tonight. It will also be where John Gruber will host his annual The Talk Show Live event, likely featuring an interview with Apple executive(s). The Talk Show Live is slated for Tuesday, June 7.
They went to *extraordinary* lengths to add fun little things throughout the building, including Easter eggs to unlock, classic pieces of equipment, and more. A fun tour! #WWDC22pic.twitter.com/jVy4cqtYSi
Android Sound Amplifier updated with new UI as Lookout adds Images mode
In addition to Gboard updates today, Google is updating two of its accessibility apps. Android’s Sound Amplifier gets a redesign and accuracy improvements, while Lookout now offers a new mode for analyzing images.
Introduced in 2019, Sound Amplifier uses the microphones on your Android phone to enhance and filter “important sounds around you.” Google says the latest update improves background noise reduction, while there’s now “faster and more accurate sound.”
There’s also a new Material You UI with a waveform that’s similar to the Recorder app on Pixel phones. A carousel lets you pick input from the phone mic or playing media with cards below to fine-tune noise reduction and boost quiet sounds.
Meanwhile, Lookout uses your phone’s camera to “provide information about the world around you with a variety of modes.” A new Images mode — currently in beta — leverages Google’s latest image understanding ML model to let you “hear a description of an image by simply opening it from just about any app.” Users specifically get a generated caption, details of what’s present in the scene, and any text that appears.
More clearly access labels, menus and receipts in real life using just your Android device’s camera.
Meanwhile, the modes for Text and Documents now offer improved reading order for formatted text, like menus and receipts. The Explore mode “detects objects more accurately,” while the Food Label/barcode reader is better at recognizing products in Brazil and India.
Lookout now also works offline without the need for Wi-Fi or data service. Download or update Lookout in Google Play to get the new features.
Android Automotive OS 12L brings Quick Controls, notification and Bluetooth upgrades, more
Besides tablets, Android 12L also brings a slew of features to Android Automotive OS as Google quietly detailed last month during I/O 2022, which mostly focused on the upcoming Android Auto redesign.
In terms of System UI improvements, Android Automotive OS 12L introduces Quick Controls that allow OEMs to add selected settings, like Bluetooth toggles, to the Status bar or other SysUI elements. This lets users “change key settings safely while driving, without opening the Settings app,” and is dependent on car maker adoption. Each will likely offer their own UI and approach.
There’s also a “notification visual overhaul” that improves grouped notifications, while support for rotary controllers (hardware knob) get bug fixes.
Other highlights include improved Bluetooth reconnection performance that will see AA OS “connect to devices more often and under the right circumstances.” Car OEMs will be able to “preview from automotive camera services, while said manufacturers can now remotely enable ADB and other Android developer options remotely. This could be used for “crypto token access mechanisms and remote web service.”
The full developer-facing changelog for Android Automotive OS 12L is below:
System UI and core apps improvements
Quick Controls feature. Enables OEMs to add selected settings (for example, Bluetooth toggles) to SysUI (for example, the Status bar) to enable users to change key settings safely while driving, without opening the Settings app.
Dual STA. Enable the IVI to connect to an OEM restricted Wi-Fi network, concurrently with a primary connection to a Wi-Fi network.
Audio ducking signal. Provides HAL with audio focus state and information on what output devices to duck.
Volume improvements. Enable for finer control of volume, including providing and API to get active volume groups.
Muting per volume group. Enable per volume group muting and enhance HAL and UI communication about the mute states.
AIDL migration for the AudioControl HAL. Migrated the AudioControl HAL from HIDL to AIDL to fully use AIDL functionality.
Power policy handling for Audio. Enabled power handling functionality for the car audio service, including disable and enable focus requests, and mute and unmute volume groups on power policy changes for audio.
CarEvsManager. Enables OEMs to implement Android Activity that shows the preview from automotive camera services.
System reliability and stability
Car watchdog flash memory management. Manages system flash memory by limiting the amount of data written to storage. Enables OEMs to define the write thresholds (for OEM, media, and maps packages) and collect statistics for OEM applications. Disables and terminates non-critical applications and services that exceed defined thresholds.
Vehicle bound encryption. Android storage encryption can now be configured to store some key encryption parameters on an external ECU. This prevents the harvesting of data by removing the head unit from the car (for example, due to theft or relegated to a junkyard).
Secure developer options. Android developer options and ADB can be remotely enabled exclusively by an OEM. Reference implementation provides crypto token access mechanisms and remote web service.
Advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) location switch. Access to device location for apps used for ADAS can now be controlled with a separate location switch in the Settings app.
Edge-based analytics capability. Enables the ability to perform more edge-based metrics processing on Android Automotive devices. Android infotainment and vehicle property metrics can be configured in scripts written in the Lua language and processed on-device to be sent to the backend of OEM choosing.
Compliance fixes. A number of patches ensure compliance with the Android certification test suites. The Android 12L AAOS Release is 100% compliant on CTS, CTS-Verifier, and STS test suites on our internal reference platform with no additional fixes needed in the AOSP software.
We’re just under one week away from WWDC 2022 kicking off and Apple has continued its tradition of augmented reality Easter eggs as it has listed the keynote on its Events landing page. The latest AR surprise features a virtual card pack you can open to reveal special developer Memoji.
Apple first started its AR Easter egg tradition back with the Apple Watch Series 6 and iPad event, then iPhone 12 launch. It continued on with the M1 Mac event, 2021 Spring Loaded, September’s iPhone 13 event, the Unleashed event, and this year’s Peek performance event.
Now just ahead of WWDC 2022’s keynote slated for June 6, Apple revealed its latest AR Easter egg. To view it, head to the Apple Events webpage on iPhone or iPad and tap the Memoji at the top.
You’ll see a virtual card pack appear with the phrase “Code on, code all.” If you tap the pack, it will open to reveal several Memoji cards that match the colorful animated developer theme Apple has been using for WWDC 2022. You can also tap each card to reveal the backside with another animation of each character. The AR experience also includes a link to add the WWDC22 keynote to your calendar.
Notably, different cards appear each time you load/reload the AR experience, there’s even a rare rainbow Craig Federighi card. And if you look closely at the bottom right corner of each card, there are code snippets that translate to emoji.
Oh man there’s an ultra rare rainbow Craig card. And the code snippet is “hair force one” in emoji! https://t.co/x98g5M0nBX
Apple’s yearly developer conference is set to begin Monday, June 6 with the anticipated keynote kicking everything off. Follow along for how to watch the WWDC keynote on any device.
During the WWDC keynote, we should get our first look at iOS 16, iPadOS 16, watchOS 9, macOS 13, and tvOS 16. There’s also the possibility of seeing new hardware at the event.
WWDC 2022: What to expect, iOS 16, new operating systems, redesigned MacBook Air, more
Download WWDC 2022 inspired wallpapers for your iPhone right here
Apple teases WWDC 2022 with AR Memoji card pack Easter egg
WWDC is mostly virtual again this year, but there is a special in-person event for June 6 at Apple Park. While the lottery-based limited event was at first promoted by Apple as a keynote viewing, it later unveiled it is a full-day worth of activities including breakfast, lunch, open house at the Apple Developer Center, special tours around Apple Park, and viewings for the keynote, Platforms State of the Union, and Apple Design Awards.
WWDC 2022 in-person attendees granted special access to tour Apple Park hills, fitness center, or Caffè Macs
You can check out the full WWDC 2022 opening day schedule plus all of the details on sessions, labs, digital lounges, and more on Apple’s Developer website.
The entire Redmi Note 11 lineup is already available for purchase, and they all share a brand new dual-glass design, similar camera experience, improved battery charging, the latest MIUI 13, among other things. Today, we are going to meet one of the most anticipated among the new Redmi quartet – the Redmi Note 11 Pro.
We already reviewed the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G, which has a different, 5G-capable chipset, but other than that, everything else stays the same. Naturally, the Redmi Note 11 Pro will be cheaper than its 5G counterpart, which makes it a more interesting offer.
So, the Redmi Note 11 Pro has a new cool-looking dual-glass design with a flat frame, flat panels, and IP53 splash proofing. It employs the same 6.67-inch 120Hz Super AMOLED that was introduced with the previous Redmi Note 10 Pro model. And it seems to be packing the same rear camera setup, too, with a 108MP primary shooter, an 8MP ultrawide, a 2MP macro, and a 2MP depth sensor. Oops, correction, it seems the macro has been demoted from a premium 5MP AF telemacro to a basic 2MP with a fixed focus.
The new Redmi Note 11 Pro runs on the Helio G96 chipset, not the fastest in the mid-range, but we will see how it fares against the competition.
The Redmi Note 11 Pro brings a ton of fan-favorite features like stereo speakers, a microSD expansion, FM radio, a 3.5mm jack, there is NFC and even an IR blaster. Like most of the Notes, this one is also powered by a large 5,000mAh battery, and its charging has been improved from 33W on the Note 10 Pro to 67W on this new Note 11 Pro. Nice!
Let’s take a closer look at the Redmi Note 11 Pro specs sheet.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 11 Pro specs at a glance:
Body: 164.2×76.1×8.1mm, 202g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), glass back; IP53, dust and splash protection.
The Redmi Note 11 Pro seems like a good sequel, though there is one big question mark – the Helio G96 chipset. It seems like a weaker SoC compared to the Note 10 Pro’s Snapdragon 732G chip, and furthermore, it’s not capable of 4K video capturing.
With that being said, let’s go and unpack this thing and put it through its paces.
Unboxing the Redmi Note 11 Pro
The Redmi Note 11 Pro arrives within a white paper box. The retail bundle offers a 67W power adapter, a 6A-rated USB cable, and a transparent protective case.
Interestingly, the Note 11 Pro has no protective film on its screen, like it was with older models, but you will find one within the box. It’s always good to have basic protection out of the box, but given how challenging it sometimes is to apply these flawlessly by yourself, we would have preferred this to have been done in the factory.
The Redmi Note 11 Pro turned out to be a good all-around mid-range phone with an attractive design, powerful stereo speakers, long-lasting battery life, speedy charging, and dependable cameras on both sides. The performance, while adequate, is somewhat subpar for its class. And with all that said, let’s explore the competition.
The Redmi Note 11 Pro launch price is €300-€330 for the 6GB/64GB model, €350 for the 6GB/128GB, and the limited 8GB/128GB model should retail at €370-€380. Not the most welcoming bunch, we’ll admit that.
The Realme 9 Pro costs the same as the Redmi Note 11 Pro. While it uses a 120Hz LCD screen instead of an OLED, it relies on the more powerful Snapdragon 695 5G chipset and offers much better battery life. Its interface also feels snappier, and the photo quality is somewhat more balanced.
But we’d suggest the 6GB/128GB Realme 9 Pro+, which costs about €50 over the 6GB/64GB Redmi Note 11 Pro or about €30 over the 6/128 model. It has a 90Hz AMOLED, runs on the much faster Dimensity 920 5G chipset, and comes with a superb 50MP primary camera with OIS that can do 4K videos. The Realme 9 Pro+ offers similar or even better battery life and equally fast charging. If we have to choose, we’d pay the extra €30 for the Realme 9 Pro+.
Then there is the outstanding Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G, which is an IP67 water-resistant smartphone with a 120Hz Super AMOLED, a much faster and gaming-capable Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset, and better four-camera setup with a 64MP OIS primary, a 12MP ultrawide, a 5MP macro and a 5MP depth sensor. The front camera is also of higher quality with a better 32MP sensor. The Galaxy A52s is inferior to the Redmi Note 11 Pro only in the charging department – 25W vs. 67W, but it costs as low as €320 – the same price as the Note 11 Pro. And this makes choosing the Galaxy a no-brainer.
The Motorola Edge 20 is another smartphone worthy of serious consideration. It has a faster 144Hz OLED screen, a more powerful Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset, a premium triple-camera with a 108MP primary, a 16MP ultrawide shooter, and an 8MP telephoto with OIS for 3x optical zoom. The Moto Edge 20 has inferior battery life and charging speed but offers a more powerful hardware and software package, and it costs as low as €300. Indeed, the Edge 20 seems like another good phone to get instead of the Redmi Note 11 Pro.
Realme 9 Pro • Realme 9 Pro Plus • Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G • Motorola Edge 20
Then there is Xiaomi‘s own Poco X4 Pro 5G, which is a rebranded Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G with a different design. Its 6GB/128GB version starts at €269, which is cheaper than the €300 early-bird price of the Note 11 Pro, and you get more powerful graphics and 5G connectivity.
The Poco M4 Pro is a cheaper version of the Redmi Note 11 Pro with a 90Hz display, a 64MP primary camera and 33W fast charging. For these lower specs, you will save yourself at least €100, and we’d take that deal in a heartbeat. The Helio G96 is not equipped to handle 120fps properly, and then the 108MP camera seems like an overkill.
And another Poco, the X3 GT, is cheaper at €290 and more powerful than the Redmi Note 11 Pro. It has a 6.6-inch 120Hz LCD screen with HDR10 support and employs the flagship-grade Dimensity 1100 5G chipset. It also features more RAM and more storage at that price. The rest – camera experience, speakers, battery life, charging speed – everything is exactly on the Redmi.
Finally, we see not a single reason why anyone should get the Redmi Note 11 Pro instead of the Redmi Note 10 Pro from the last year. It offers faster graphics and good gaming experience, better photo and video quality, and they come at a lower price starting at €250 for the 6GB/64GB model.
Xiaomi Poco X4 Pro 5G • Xiaomi Poco M4 Pro • Xiaomi Poco X3 GT • Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
The Redmi Note 11 Pro is a good smartphone positioned thoughtfully under the Note 11 Pro 5G. It was made for people who don’t need the fastest connection in the world and can do without gaming. We are fond of its design, screen, speakers, battery life and especially, the charging speed.
Xiaomi has been consistent with its IP53-rated phones, and that’s another thing that deserves praise – Realme still hasn’t gotten there yet. The camera experience is solid, too, probably the best you can get within the entire Redmi Note 11 series.
Finally, MIUI 13 is one capable launcher with millions of fans around the world, which plays in the Redmi Note 11 Pro favor. The 3.5mm jack, the microSD expansion, the IR blaster, and the FM radio are of big help, too.
Unfortunately, the Redmi Note 11 Pro fails at two important aspects – delivering meaningful upgrades and pricing. The only upgrade over the Redmi Note 10 Pro is the faster charging, everything else feels like a solid downgrade. And then we have this phone priced quite unfavorably at launch, even with the early bird promotions.
We’ve seen Realme pushing sequels with lower-tier specs, but they often came with rather reasonable price tags. Unlike Xiaomi, which is giving us slower phones at higher prices.
At the end of the day, we can’t blame Xiaomi for trying to refresh its signature Redmi Note series at times of unprecedented global crisis. The economy is not what it was two years ago, and phones, along with everything else, is going to be more expensive. So, it’s not really the maker’s fault for what’s happening. But we think Xiaomi could have handled better these Redmi Note 11 Pro models, maybe postpone them and rethink their place in the market.
Long story short, until we see the Redmi Note 11 Pro at a discount, or until the older Xiaomi models are no longer available, we can’t but think of the Redmi Note 11 Pro as unsellable.
Excellent AMOLED screen, bright, accurate colors, 120Hz.
Likable design, IP53-rated dual-glass body.
Good battery life, splendidly fast charging.
Loud stereo speakers.
Dependable photo and quality.
MIUI 13, 3.5mm jack, microSD, IR blaster, NFC, FM radio.
The Poco X4 Pro 5G may not be the Poco(phone) you are looking for. We could literally hear these words in our head spoken in Obi-Wan Kenobi’s voice as we sat down to gather our thoughts about the X4 Pro.
And indeed, if you came looking for a proper Poco X3 Pro sequel, you won’t be getting it. If you are on the lookout for an affordable mid-range phone, a refreshed Poco X3 NFC, if you will, then you’ve come to the right place. We can’t and won’t hide the true nature of the Poco X4 Pro 5G – it’s a repackaged version of the global Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G with a redesigned rear panel. Here’s how these two compare. This is not the first and won’t be the last time Poco has done this, so it’s not surprising. But the Poco X4 Pro 5G design really stands out, as usual.
The Poco X4 Pro packs a 6.67-inch 120Hz Super AMOLED screen and employs the Snapdragon 695 5G chipset, a departure from the flagship-grade Snapdragon 860 within the Poco X3 Pro but a small improvement over the Poco X3 NFC’s Snapdragon 732G. This mid-range SoC offers good CPU performance and 5G connectivity, though.
The camera is your usual tri-eye setup with a high-res 108MP primary, an 8MP ultrawide and a 2MP macro shooter. There is no depth sensor as opposed to other Redmi Note 11 models and the previous Poco X3 phones.
The Poco X4 Pro offers stereo speakers, and all sorts of fan-favorite features such as FM radio, a 3.5mm jack, a microSD expansion, and even an IR port. You can also charge its large 5,000mAh battery incredibly fast with the bundled 67W charger.
The Poco X4 Pro 5G runs on MIUI 13 for Poco, which is based on Android 11. We were a bit surprised to find the latest MIUI without the latest Android OS, but this is also not a first for Xiaomi, and we are sure the update will arrive soon enough.
So, let’s scroll through the Redmi, sorry, Poco X4 Pro 5G specs now.
If we are to compare the €250 Poco X3 Pro to the €300 Poco X4 Pro, we can’t but think of this as rather unfair. The whole economy has changed, and the world is still reshaping as you read this. So, yes, the Poco X4 Pro is not a phone with flagship speed at a bargain price; it can’t even do 4K videos.
But it does look promising as being one of the new generations of phones that will soon replace the old bang for the buck deals as their stock will soon run out. And we can see that this Poco still has the same spirit by trying to pack every possible modern technology, 5G included, and offer it at an incredibly low price in 2022 terms.
Unboxing the Poco X4 Pro 5G
The Poco X4 Pro’s retail box contains a 67W Xiaomi charger and a 6A-rated cable. This is the same charger you get with most new Xiaomi phones these days.
The bundle also includes a soft transparent case and a thin protective film for the display. Usually, Xiaomi‘s smartphones have that film applied in the factory, but this seems like yet another cost-cutting decision introduced for the new devices. We do appreciate this extra, but given how challenging it can be to apply these things, we can’t but think of the factory application as the better choice.
The Poco X4 Pro 5G is a good smartphone with balanced specs. It has an attractive splash-resistant design, a brilliant 120Hz AMOLED, offers excellent battery life, fast charging, good camera specs and adequate performance for the class. Its 6GB/128GB model is now available on sale at €299, which makes it an attractive offer considering its all-around specs sheet.
The Poco X4 Pro 5G is a reworked version of the €370 Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G. It is an identical smartphone with a different back panel. Yet, it’s €70 cheaper than the Redmi, which automatically makes it the better offer.
Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G and the Poco X4 Pro 5G
Of course, both Poco X3 NFC and Poco X3 Pro are still available for purchase for €200 and €250, respectively. While the X3 phones rely on 120Hz LCD panels instead of OLED, they can be more attractive offers. The Poco X3 NFC can offer 4K video capturing over the X4 Pro, but the X3 Pro has a flagship-grade Snapdragon 860 chipset, an HDR10-certified screen, and a somewhat better camera experience. Sure, the X3 Pro has no 5G connectivity, but we will still get it for its incredibly fast performance and the cheaper price.
Or there is the Xiaomi 11 Lite 5G NE, with a much better Dolby Vision AMOLED screen, much faster Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset, and a triple-camera of superb photo and video quality across the board. The 11 Lite 5G NE also costs around the €300 mark, and it is the Xiaomi phone to buy in this bracket, not doubt.
However, if you are dead set on getting a Poco, then the €300 Poco F3 is the way to go. With the top-of-the-line Snapdragon 870 5G chipset, HDR10+ 120Hz AMOLED screen, and a similar triple-camera with a 5MP telemacro shooter, it can be the gaming phone on a budget you are looking for.
Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G • Poco X3 NFC • Poco X3 Pro • 11 Lite 5G NE • Poco F3
If a Xiaomi-made phone is not a must, then other makers can win you over with their 2021 phones. Take the Galaxy A52s 5G, for example – it is priced around €340, and for the extra €40, you will get an IP67-rated design, much more powerful Snapdragon 778G 5G chipset, a better camera experience with a 64MP OIS primary, a 12MP ultrawide shooter and 5MP depth and macro cameras. 4K video capturing is available even on the selfie camera, and you also get cool features like the under-display fingerprint reader. The only caveat – the charging is not that fast.
Another excellent smartphone for €40 over the Poco X4 Pro is the OnePlus Nord 2 5G that’s still available across various retailers. It offers a 90hz Fluid AMOLED on top of the flagship Dimensity 1200 5G chipset. Its primary 50MP camera has OIS and 4K capturing and provides much better photo and video quality. Oh, and the Nord 2’s 65W fast charging is equally impressive.
Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G • OnePlus Nord 2 5G
We already knew what to expect from the Poco X4 Pro 5G, after all, it’s the Redmi Note 11 Pro 5G with a different body. The good news is that this Poco is preferable to the Redmi because it’s noticeably cheaper. The bad news – there are much better phones at that price.
Sure, the Poco X4 Pro 5G has a lot to offer – starting with its large OLED screen of high quality, on top of a likable splash-proof design and one large battery with super-fast charging. The X4 Pro performance is fine, it has a ton of connectivity options, and its camera kit sounds promising.
But the disappointments are piling up right from the start. The Poco X4 Pro is not at all like the previous Poco X series Pro models, and we think this is one of the things that will make it tougher to sell as people will see it as a continuation to the Poco X3 Pro and not the NFC. Then its performance has not improved an inch since the X3 NFC, though it can now connect to 5G networks.
Then there is the rather mediocre camera experience despite the 108MP primary sensor. Finally, we got MIUI 13, yes, but it’s on top of Android 11 instead of Android 12 and that adds yet another question mark on top of everything else.
The Poco X4 Pro 5G is a good smartphone – it has adequate specs sheet and attractive pricing for 2022, all things considered. But the 2021 mid-range models are widely available and more affordable, and it just doesn’t make sense buying it right now, not until a price cut is introduced or its competitors – retired. But what we know is that this Poco X4 Pro makes more sense than many of the recently launched Redmi Note 11 phones models.
Likable glass design, IP53-rated.
Outstanding AMOLED screen, bright, 120Hz, great color accuracy.
Top-notch battery life, blazing fast charging.
Loud stereo speakers, good audio quality.
Up to par performance for the class, 5G.
MIUI 13, 3.5mm jack, NFC, IR blaster, microSD.
Not a sequel to the Poco X3 Pro, likely to the Poco X3 NFC but does not outperform it.
Not based on the latest Android 12 like Xiaomi 12.
the Redmi Note 10 Pro for review, and this is the global version of the Redmi Note 10 Pro Max – an India-exclusive model. There are only two differences – the Indian version omits NFC and it is not listed as IP53-rated. Here’s a direct link to compare the two.
It’s been exactly one year since the first Redmi Note 9 phones came to be, and the updates arrive right on schedule. The Redmi Note 10 Pro is spearheading the next generation of affordable mid-rangers, and it brings one of the most requested fan-favorite features – a 120Hz OLED screen.
Xiaomi has been offering HRR screens on the cheap. The Redmi Note 9 Pro 5G and multiple Redmi K30 phones had 120Hz and even 144Hz LCD panels. These devices became quite popular for that reason, and a lot of people, we included, were hoping for an OLED upgrade and that this premium feature would become a standard for the Redmi Note 10 series. Talk about a wish come true!
The Redmi Note 10 Pro builds on top of the limited Redmi Note 9 Pro 5G, also known as Mi 10i 5G in some markets, both released a few weeks ago. It offers a better HRR OLED screen but comes with the inferior Snapdragon 732G chip instead of the more premium Snapdragon 750G 5G. The rest is mostly the same – camera, speakers, battery, fast charging.
Indeed, the new Redmi Note 10 Pro may not be packing the best mid-range SoC, but it sure impresses with an interesting quad-camera on the back. The main shooter uses a 108MP Samsung sensor, then comes the 8MP ultrawide snapper, followed by a 5MP cam with telemacro lens, and finally, there is a 2MP depth sensor.
The other interesting bits about the Redmi Note 10 Pro include the dedicated symmetrical speakers – yet another feature that’s not widely available even on the most expensive phones (the flagships usually favor hybrid setups). There is also a nicely fat battery with a 5,020mAh capacity that’s capable of 33W fast charging, and the corresponding power adapter is included with the phone. Some people will appreciate the presence of NFC, FM radio, IR blaster, a 3.5mm jack, and the microSD expansion.
Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro specs at a glance:
Body: 164×76.5×8.1mm, 193g; Glass front (Gorilla Glass 5), glass back (Gorilla Glass 5), plastic frame; IP53, dust and splash protection.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is IP53-rated for dust and water protection – a very nice touch. This means the phone is dust-proof and can endure light splashes or rain. The phone sounds like an increasingly better proposition with each new feature we spot, so let’s cut to the chase and pop this Note out of its box.
Unboxing the Xiaomi Redmi Note 10 Pro
The Redmi Note 10 Pro ships within a regular paper box, and it packs everything you may need but a pair of headphones. The retail bundle contains a 33W power adapter and a 3A-rated USB-A-to-C cable.
You also get a transparent silicone case with a cover lid for the USB-C port. And you will find one thin screen protector that’s already applied to the phone’s display. We peeled that off; sorry, Xiaomi, it was way too cheap.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is without a doubt one of the hottest offers this year, and it will be a tough one to match. By putting a 120Hz OLED screen on such an affordable phone, Xiaomi has finally put an end to the 60Hz OLED or 120Hz LCD dilemma. How about that, Realme?
Indeed, Realme has been known for prioritizing 60Hz AMOLEDs over HRR LCDs for a while, and the most recent Realme 7 Pro is one of these specimens. The 7 Pro costs as much as the Redmi Note 10 Pro, but it offers an inferior 60Hz OLED and lower-res primary (108MP vs. 64MP) and macro (5MP AF vs. 2MP FF) snappers. It impresses with its 65W SuperDart Charging, though. The Realme 8 Pro is expected to premiere in a few weeks with a 60Hz OLED, a Helio G95 chip, and a 108MP primary camera, so you may want to wait for that one.
Ah, the Poco X3 NFC has a lot in common with the Redmi Note 10 Pro. It has the same size screen, 120Hz at that, but it’s an IPS LCD unit. It uses the same Snapdragon 732G platform, has the same speakers, similar battery with 33W charging. The Poco X3 NFC also packs a quad-camera on the back, but the important bits – main and ultrawide – are 64MP + 13MP instead of 108MP + 8MP. The Poco X3 NFC is €100 cheaper though, so if you decide against paying extra for an OLED panel, you may as well find the Poco X3 a good fit for you.
The €280 Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite, just like the Poco X3, features a 120Hz LCD screen, while matching the rest of the specs, more or less. But the Mi 10T Lite is a 5G-capable thanks to the Snapdragon 750G 5G SoC and it makes it a good alternative to the Redmi Note 10 Pro.
Another incredibly cheap 5G phone is the €250 Samsung Galaxy A42 5G. It has a 6.6″ 720p AMOLED and runs on the Snapdragon 750G 5G chip. It has a similar camera (even if the primary is not a 108MP but 48MP), and an equally beefy 5,000mAh battery. There are no stereo speakers or IP53 rating, but the Galaxy is a reliable phone, especially for gaming, and will last you for days per our battery life test.
Realme 7 Pro • Xiaomi Poco X3 NFC • Xiaomi Mi 10T Lite 5G • Samsung Galaxy A42 5G
Xiaomi has also brought three more Redmi Note 10 phones. The Redmi Note 10 5G with a 90Hz OLED and 5G connectivity, but it has no stereo speakers and no ultrawide camera. The Redmi Note 10 and Note 10S will tempt you with 6.43″ 60Hz OLEDs, stereo speakers and ultrawide snappers, but they differ by chipsets – the N10 runs on Snapdragon 678, while the 10S employs Helio G95. Obviously, none of these can match the 108MP camera and the 120Hz screen refresh rate, but they are worth considering if you are on the budget.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is so likable, and it aced our tests, so it’s really hard to find any faults. This one easily becomes our current favorite bang for the buck offer and one of the easiest “go for it” we’ve written in a while.
The Redmi Note 10 Pro is not a perfect smartphone, but its imperfections are easily forgivable and forgettable. And while this Note wasn’t made to be a flagship killer, it is shrinking the gap and may soon be breathing down their necks.
Beautiful design; IP53-rated.
Excellent 120Hz AMOLED, smooth and responsive.
Outstanding battery life, fast to charge.
Very good stereo speakers.
Dependable performance, no overheating.
All cameras excel in daylight, photo and video.
MIUI 12 is smooth on top of Android 11.
IR blaster, 3.5mm jack, FM radio, NFC, microSD.
A higher grade chipset would have been more exciting.
Xiaomihas signed a “long-term strategic partnership” with camera and camera lens manufacturer Leica in a bid to improve and boost camera performance on upcoming flagship smartphones.
Leica has previously partnered with Huawei to help tune and enhance the Mate and P-series smartphones. However, with Huawei still facing sanctions and difficulties in Western markets, Xiaomi has moved to secure a partnership with Leica on upcoming devices. The German photography firm has also partnered with a number of other brands including Sharp with the recent Japan-only Aquos line.
The announcement teases a new device coming in July, which is expected to be the follow-up to the Xiaomi Mi 11 Ultra. No further details were shared about the actual device in question, which is likely to be the Xiaomi 12 Ultra. However, the recently teased Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 Plus chipset would be a likely candidate as one of the core internals for a device worthy of following on from the impressive Mi 11 Ultra.
In a press release confirming this partnership with Leica, Xiaomi stated that the first flagship smartphone camera setup to benefit from this deal “will be officially launched in July this year.” It’s also unclear if this will partnership will see simple Leica software tweaks and color tuning like the OnePlus-Hasselblad and Oppo-Hasselblad partnership penned in recent years.
Xiaomi and Leica share the same ideas regarding mobile imaging. Both companies are eager to continuously explore the optical performance and photographic experience in the mobile imaging era through extreme technological breakthroughs and aesthetic pursuits.
The usage of “strategic partnership in imagery technology” within the announcement post hints that this could provide either option, which would be a way to help differentiate from the growing pack of Android smartphone OEMs attempting to take that third-place global sales crown from the Chinese brand.
One day after seeding iOS 15.6 beta 1 to developers, Apple is now releasing the public beta version to users enrolled in the Apple Beta Software Program. Alongside the first public beta of iOS 15.6, Apple is also making available the new versions of tvOS 15.6, macOS 12.5, and watchOS 8.7.
Today’s iOS 15.6 beta 1 build is 19G5027e. Different from past versions, Apple hasn’t made available any important features so far. This will likely be the latest iOS 15 major update before the release of iOS 16 later in the fall.
Here’s what Apple announced with iOS 15.5 early this week:
Wallet now enables Apple Cash customers to send and request money from their Apple Cash card
Apple Podcasts includes a new setting to limit episodes stored on your iPhone and automatically delete older ones
Fixes an issue where home automation, triggered by people arriving or leaving, may fail.
Alongside iOS 15.6 beta 1, Apple is also seeding macOS 12.5 beta 1 (build 21G5027d), tvOS 15.6 beta 1(build 19M5027c), and watchOS 8.7 beta 1 (build 19U5027c) to public testers.
In a few weeks from now, Apple will hold its WWDC 2022 event, where the company will announce the next milestone for iOS, macOS, iPadOS, tvOS, and watchOS. Rumors so far believe iOS 16 will bring nice improvements.
According to recent rumors, iOS 16 is expected to bring significant improvements to notifications as well as a new interface for iPadOS multitasking. Reported earlier this year that Apple has been working on adding expanded settings for Focus Mode in iOS 16.