Have you heard of the company, Xiaomi? If so, you’re probably thinking of a company that sells only phones. But, like other companies in China, it doesn’t only specialize in creating new-age smartphones; they also offer other products as well.
This article will be focused on the best Xiaomi products that you can buy in 2020. I will be talking about not just phones but also any other notable products that the company sells as well.
Anyway, without further ado, let’s get started.
1.Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G
Just like every other phone manufacturer out there, Xiaomi also provides you with some of the best smartphones in the market and its latest offering is the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G.
Aside from the fact that it is a 5G-enabled device, it also has a lot of things that you will surely love.
It has top of the line specs in the form of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 processor, a 6.7-inch AMOLED display, an amazing 108-megapixel camera at the back, and 50-W fast charging capabilities.
Considered by pundits as one of the best smartphones in 2020, the Xiaomi Mi 10 Pro 5G is definitely one that you would consider getting this year.
Do keep in mind that although there is a lot to love about the said phone, our readers from the U.S. might have a hard time getting their hands on this device mainly because it is not available locally.
You can, however, buy it online but do remember that you will incur additional fees just to get one.
2.Xiaomi Mi Electric Smart Kettle
Xiaomi not only creates amazing phones but they also dabble into ordinary household items as well.
The Xiaomi Mi Electric Smart Kettle definitely deserves a spot on this list, mainly because it is quite a convenient kettle that can be controlled using your Android device.
There are two versions of the Smart Kettle- one with the regular design and one that comes with a Thermostat.
It comes with an all-white aesthetic that is reminiscent of the brand, has a 1.5-liter capacity, 220v power, and a 12-hour thermostat that can be adjusted using the Xiaomi Mi Home app.
At just $40, you get a smart kettle that gives you the perfect tea or cup of coffee first thing in the morning.
3.Xiaomi Mi Ultra Short-Throw Laser Projector
Getting a smartTV may not be enough for a total cinematic experience. That is why I would recommend that you get a short-throw projector instead.
The Xiaomi Mi Ultra Short-Throw laser projector is one of the company’s more expensive products, but it certainly has features that warrant its high price tag.
For one, it can support Full HD content without a problem, has an outstanding 3000:1 contrast ratio and its laser is able to output 5000 lumens of brightness which is pretty respectable.
Since this is a short-throw projector, you only need to position this a few centimeters away and it will be able to project a 150-inch display on the wall or a dedicated screen.
The product also has a 25,000-hour lifespan, so with moderate use, you can definitely enjoy much bigger content in the comfort of your own home for a couple of years.
Because there is a lot to love about this product, it is one of the costliest products in Xiaomi’s portfolio. At $1,999, the price is definitely up there, but it is really something worth considering if you are thinking about putting up your own home theater system.
4.Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone
When it comes to drones, people usually look at the DJI Phantom as their de-facto choice for such a thing. However, its high price tag is definitely something to consider and unfortunately, not a lot of people are able to afford it.
Wouldn’t it be great if you have some of the best features of the said product but are sold at a much lower price? Well, there is actually one such product in the form of the Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone.
Its hallmark feature is that it gives you the ability to record 4K videos at 30 fps. It has that familiar Xiaomi aesthetic as the product is only available in white.
If you are using a drone to capture some footage, it is imperative that its flight controls are up to spec. Fortunately, you need not worry about it with this 4K drone.
It has a simple Tapfly button that takes out the guesswork for you and everything can be controlled either by using its included remote or your smartphone.
Its battery life is rated to last up to 27 minutes which is still a pretty good value, considering that you are taking 4K resolution videos.
If you are okay with recording videos only at Full HD quality, you can buy one for $360.
However, if you want the best of the best, the Xiaomi Mi 4K Drone costs $460.
5.Xiaomi Black Shark 3
The Xiaomi Black Shark line is the company’s foray into the gaming phone industry. Now on its 3rd iteration, the Xiaomi Black Shark 3 is certainly a gaming phone that you’d want to consider getting in this day and age.
Aside from its flagship chipset (Qualcomm Snapdragon 865), it also comes in either 8GB or 12GB versions. It is 5G compatible and has a hefty storage capacity of 128GB or 256GB (though it is not expandable).
As is customary with gaming phones on the market, the Xiaomi Blackshark 3 also has a high-refresh-rate display at 90Hz. Its 6.67-inch AMOLED display ensures that you have ample screen real estate whenever you are playing your favorite games.
Although its camera array doesn’t offer something to write about, you get 3 cameras on the back and a respectable selfie camera on the front.
You also get a couple of accessories that will help improve your gaming experience while using the phone as well.
First, you get a detachable controller that has a D-pad and directional stick on the left side and a couple of buttons on the right. There are also some shoulder buttons that you can remap using your in-game controls.
Another attachment is a fan that can help cool down the device considerably, especially when you are playing graphically-intensive games.
While the phone is definitely on the chunkier side, you will not notice it when you are gaming.
With top of the line specs and some accessories that can improve your gaming experience, the Xiaomi Black Shark 3 is something worth considering if you are buying a smartphone dedicated to playing games.
6.Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner V2
Using a vacuum cleaner to clean your house can be a drag sometimes, especially if you are tired from work. However, you need not do the cleaning by yourself and you have the technology to thank for that!
Xiaomi is one of the best companies in terms of household equipment and the Mi Roborock S50 (otherwise known as the Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner Version 2) should definitely warrant a purchase.
You see, this oversized hockey-puck vacuum cleaner does all the work for you. It comes with handy lasers that can help navigate itself so that it won’t bump into your other household items.
The said vacuum cleaner can be controlled using the Mi Home App and it is self-charging, which means that you just have to turn off the device until it is ready to clean your home again.
The Xiaomi Mi Robot Vacuum Cleaner V2 is currently priced at $367.
7.Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop
Who says that you should be spending quite a lot of money on getting the best gaming laptops out there? Xiaomi has made it clear that even affordable laptops can turn into capable gaming machines.
The Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop 2019 edition has some pretty respectable specs for its price. It’s got an Intel Core i9-9750H CPU, an Nvidia Geforce RTX 2060 Mobile GPU, 16GB of DDR4 RAM, 512GB NVMe SSD (you can also add two more if you need to), and everything just weighs 5.73 pounds.
This 15.6-inch laptop comes with a pretty good and blazing fast display. Its color performance got 92% in the Color Space test and it is also capable of going up to 144hz as well for those fast-paced games.
Usually, with gaming laptops, you get a pretty hot device whenever you are playing games that can tax the entire system. The Mi Gaming laptop is different because it stays relatively cool at only 67C at full load and its fan noise doesn’t exceed 45 dBA. That is pretty astounding, considering that other laptops in its class are much louder than that.
The keyboard is full RGB illuminated and it is pretty good to type on. Its touchpad could be improved but for the most part, it is okay.
With all of those things being said, the Xiaomi Mi Gaming Laptop (2019) is priced only at $1500. With its specs, the company could easily price it at $2,000 but they didn’t and that is why this product deserves praise and recognition in this article.
8.Xiaomi Mi Power Bank Pro
Because we rely on our mobile devices, it is important that it gets a lot of juice to last a whole day. While most of the flagship phones certainly do not have an issue when it comes to battery life, old phones do.
So, if you are going to rely on your phone for a lot of things, you will need a trusty power bank that will give your devices extra juice when you’re on the go.
The Xiaomi Mi Power Bank Pro is a 10,000 mAh battery that is capable of charging up to 3 devices. It has a 2-in1 Micro-USB and USB Type-C connectors so that every mobile phone or tablet will be supported.
Because it is rated with 18-watts of power, it should top-up any device within an hour or two. Best of all, such an amazing power bank is quite affordable since you can get one for a low price of just $30 apiece!
Google Nest Audio vs Amazon Echo- The Battle of the New ‘Smart’ Speakers
Smart home speakers are not as popular as mobile phones, but in my opinion, it actually should be.
You see, companies are slowly rolling out smart home devices so that your life will be so much easier given the convenience of having them.
That being said, I am going to be talking about the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo speakers because they are the ones that are at the forefront when it comes to smart home speakers. Which of these should you choose? Read on to find out!
For those of you who do not know, Google Nest Audio is actually the Google Home speakers that were released just about a year ago. It seems that Google wanted to use a new moniker to denote that this particular thing can ‘nest’ your other smart home devices.
The Amazon Echo, on the other hand, refers to the medium-sized Bluetooth speaker that the largest online retailer sells. The company is set to release a new version of this device soon, so it would be interesting to see how well it performs.
Even though the new version of the Amazon Echo hasn’t arrived at our doorstep yet for an official review, this is not to say that we can somehow speculate what it can offer, especially considering that the company has provided us with some really good information about it.
With all of those out of the way, let’s talk more about the design first. The Google Nest Audio takes on a more cylindrical approach in that the speaker itself has a higher height than the Amazon Echo.
For that reason, you are getting a 75mm woofer and a single 19mm tweeter. Google touts the Google Nest Audio as a better sound solution compared to its original Google Home Speaker because of the changes.
On the other hand, the Amazon Echo, in my opinion, has better sound quality. That is thanks to its two 20mm tweeters and a huge 76.2mm woofer. Its design is more spherical but I am pleased (and surprised) that Amazon was able to include two tweeters on its Bluetooth speaker implementation.
At the base of the Amazon Echo is a blue light ring that changes the way it emits light depending on the current usage.
Both of these Bluetooth speakers are offered in various colors so you have different options to choose from.
If you look at the design of both speakers, you could make a case that the Amazon Echo wins this round when it comes to pure sound quality. Its two tweeters compared to the single tweeter on the Google Nest Audio, provides it with a much better chance of delivering mid-high sound frequencies.
This is not to discount the fact that Google has some tricks up its sleeves because its AI technology is smart enough to adjust the sound quality on the fly when needed.
Both of the speakers have an adaptive sound feature wherein if it detects that the ambient noise is loud enough, it increases the volume of whatever content you are consuming at that moment to compensate. This is using both of the speakers’ microphones. The volume should normalize to the last known level after it detects that the ambient sound has quieted down.
Of course, this is only my opinion after looking at the spec sheet because I will have to get my hands on these things before I can give my honest opinion. But, my initial assessment would be that the Amazon Echo delivers better sound compared to the Google Nest Audio.
To be able to provide you with ‘smart’ features, both the Google Nest Audio and Amazon Echo are equipped with processors that can handle just that.
The Google Nest Audio comes with the company’s TeraOPS A53 processor which is a quad-core chip that boasts of better performance compared to the company’s previous Bluetooth speakers.
On the other hand, Amazon’s own speaker is equipped with the AZ1 Neural Edge processor that, according to the company, should be more responsive to voice commands compared to previous versions.
It is hard to say who wins this round. You see, Amazon has Zigbee hub integration which means that your connected smart home devices have better compatibility with the said speaker because of this.
However, we all know that Google’s AI technology is so advanced (and even more accurate) than Alexa, so it could potentially provide you with better features overall compared to Amazon’s Bluetooth speaker.
Of course, I cannot truly say which one wins this round until I get to review these wireless audio solutions. In that case, stay tuned for more.
The Google Nest Audio will be available on October 5, while the Amazon Echo will not be released until later this month (October 22). That being said, both of these speakers will retail for $99.99, so stay tuned for our official product reviews to help you know which one you should ultimately choose for yourself.
Apple iPad 8th Generation Review- An Iterative Upgrade
When it comes to ease of use and convenience, people like getting Apple’s products because of its more streamlined approach to everything. Sure, there is a lot to tinker on Android but that is also precisely the reason why the user experience, at least for the layman, is not as great.
There is this saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Well, although I would have liked to say that here, I just don’t think that that approach applies here.
You see, the design of the 8th generation iPad is identical to its predecessor. As in everything about its aesthetics are similar which means that if you want to imagine what the new iPad looks like, all you have to do is look at the 7th gen variant.
Like all things, it can be a good thing or a bad thing. It is a good thing because that familiar design should feel right at home, especially for people that already own an iPad. It is bad because, in this day and age, more and more mobile devices have slimmer bezels and the new iPad still has those atrociously huge ones.
Don’t get me wrong, there are practical uses to having large bezels as it allows you to hold the tablet better when using it in landscape mode, but if you are watching online content, you can’t help but be bothered by the huge sides.
There are two versions of the 8th generation iPad and that is one with WiFi only and the other one having LTE. Its dimensions are 9.8 x 6.8 x 0.29. The only difference between the WiFi and the LTE versions is that the latter is a bit heavier at 495 grams compared to the 490 grams of the former.
Thankfully, Apple didn’t remove the headphone jack but if you are going to utilize its built-in speakers, you are better off using a good Bluetooth speaker instead.
The 8th generation iPad has a 10.2-inch Retina Display with a resolution of 2160 x 1620 and 264 pixels per inch or PPI. It has a good peak brightness at 500 nits, though you can still experience some problems when you are outside and the sun is shining brightly.
You can utilize the Apple Pencil on this device and it is also quite accurate as well (just keep in mind that it is sold separately).
What I love about iPads, in general, is that their displays provide you with crisp and clear details. Whether you are working on your documents or perhaps watching your favorite movies and TV shows, they do not disappoint.
Specs and Performance
- CPU: A12 Bionic
- GPU: Apple GPU (4-core graphics)
- RAM: 3GB
- Storage: 32GB/128GB
- Display: 10.2-inch Retina IPS LCD Display, 2160 x 1620, 4:3 aspect ratio, 500 nits brightness, 264 PPI
- OS: iPadOS 14
- Cameras: 8-megapixel (back), 1.2-megapixel (front)
- Connectivity: WiFi 802.11 AC, Bluetooth 4.2
- Battery: 32.4 Wh
So, if the 8th generation iPad has an identical design to its predecessor, what has changed here? Well, I am glad you asked. The only notable difference here is that the new model comes with the A12 Bionic chip and that’s pretty much it.
While you could be unhappy with the change, the new CPU actually beats its predecessor by a lot. By using Geekbench 5, single-core scores are about 60% higher than the 7th gen iPad and about 100% better in multi-core tasks than the previous model.
Granted that the said benchmark is relatively old, you couldn’t argue that the new processor is indeed way better than its predecessor.
Even when you are just using the tablet the way it should be used, you can really tell the difference. This is more evident if you are going to play some games.
Now, do not worry about the 3GB of RAM because the iOS ecosystem is quite streamlined and efficient that you normally wouldn’t need more than that.
It should also go without saying that the included cameras are just there for show and they do not really do anything special, so I don’t think that covering them is warranted here.
Sure, the new 8th generation iPad doesn’t bring a lot to the table, but its new processor is leaps and bounds better than its predecessor. Does that justify buying the new one? Probably not, especially if you already own the 7th generation model.
However, if you own an older iPad and you want better performance across the board, then you could probably spend your money to get one.
My gripe here is that there are only two storage options to choose from. You can get the 32GB variant for only $329 but in this day and age, 32GB is not a lot of storage space.
If you want more storage, you will need to spend an additional $100 premium just to get the 128GB model. In fact, I would go on to say that you should be buying this particular model compared to the 32GB variant. I just don’t like that the company is gouging you another $100 ($429 in total) just to get one.
The 8th generation iPad is disappointing in a lot of ways and its only redeeming quality is its new processor. It would have been nice if there is a redesign or that the lightning cable is changed to USB-C, but there is just not a lot of things to talk about here.
Therefore, I should say that the 8th generation iPad is just an iterative upgrade. Whether you want to buy it or not is entirely up to you.
Amazon Echo Studio Review- The Bigger ‘Echo’ Speaker That Competes
Amazon, the biggest online retailer in the world, has created its own AI implementation in the form of the Amazon Alexa.
It is actually quite polished and it can go against Apple’s Siri and Google’s own AI. That being said, the company has released some ‘Echo’ speakers that not only act as Bluetooth audio devices but as smart devices as well.
Today, I am going to be reviewing the Amazon Echo Studio. Does this thing really have what it takes to compete with the others?
One of the biggest criticisms of Amazon’s Echo speakers of the past is that although its smart features are okay, their sound output leaves much to be desired. As a way of addressing the issue, Amazon has built the Echo Studio.
The Amazon Echo Studio is pretty big. It is 8 inches in height and 7 inches wide so this is indeed a pretty hefty audio solution. In fact, I would go on to say that this is one of the biggest Bluetooth speakers on the market.
Its design is pretty much akin to the Amazon Echo speakers of old. You get a fabric mesh design that encapsulates the speaker itself with all of its button controls situated at the top of the device.
You also get a blue ring light that will pretty much add to the aesthetic appeal of the unit. The microphone is also placed at the top and it is always on ‘listening mode’ so that whenever you want to interact with Alexa, it can do so at a moment’s notice.
Although you cannot see it, the Amazon Echo Studio is actually powered by a subwoofer, a tweeter, and four mid-range speakers that are mounted at the top and the sides. This thing is a beast as it can output 330 watts of power when needed, which is ample enough even for home cinema setups.
The Amazon Echo Studio is quite a powerful Bluetooth speaker. No matter what genre of content you’d like to consume, this thing can output the necessary sound to make your viewing experience more immersive.
I am usually keen on an audio solution’s performance when it comes to playing music and I am happy with the Echo Studio’s prowess.
Although it favors the lower frequencies more than the mids and the highs, it does so without drowning the latter two, which is something that you normally do not see on large Bluetooth speakers.
An interesting feature that the Amazon Echo Studio has is its support for 3D Audio. You will need to sign in to your Amazon Music HD account before you can get a hold of this feature and it is the only platform that supports the Echo Studio’s 3D Audio. Amazon did mention that it will hand out support for other streaming platforms at a later date though.
So, how is the speaker’s performance on that front? Well, I am not really sure what to think about it as I have mixed feelings about the said feature.
3D audio is meant to provide a more immersive listening experience but I can hardly tell the difference between traditional Hi-Res audio and this one.
I guess you could say that for tracks that have a more melodic tone that you can discern a 3D audio-enabled track from a regular track, but other than that, non-audiophiles can hardly tell the difference.
To be fair, the said feature is still not polished yet, so expect it to improve in the years to come.
The Amazon Echo Studio also has seamless integration with the Amazon Fire TV Stick, though it does support all other streaming services like Netflix and Hulu as well.
You are also given the option to link up another Amazon Echo Studio speaker so that you can have them work in tandem to provide you with even better sound. I do not have a second unit though, so I cannot really tell anything about this. But, the feature is there if you want to get another unit.
Aside from 3D audio, the Echo Studio also acts as a control hub for your smart devices. You can use Alexa to turn off your lights at a specific time of the night or you can have it play your favorite track if you want. The possibilities are endless.
Do keep in mind that while it should support most of the smart home devices that you can buy on the market, there are some products that do not play ball.
For instance, some smart locks can only be supported using Apple’s Siri, so you cannot control that using this device.
You can also link up a second Echo Studio speaker if you have one and you can use both of them to provide you with an even more powerful and more immersive listening experience.
You can control the speaker’s features by manually tapping on the buttons at the top of the device or by downloading its companion app.
Amazon has finally solved the issue of the Amazon Echo speakers of the past by giving you a relatively large speaker that can do a lot of things.
The Amazon Echo Studio has support for 3D audio, but you will need to have an Amazon Music HD account to get a hold of the said feature.
You can also use the speaker to control your smart home devices which is pretty nice. The microphone is always on listening mode so that you can call Alexa’s attention at a moment’s notice.
Normally, I would expect a product like this to cost more than $300, but the Amazon Echo Studio actually costs just $199. I guess getting another one is not too far out of the equation, eh?
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