A Love Dream Created by Mi 6

With smartphone camera capabilities quickly matching and even surpassing those of DSLR cameras, professional photographers and consumers alike are resorting to their phones for everything from a professional headshot to the perfect Instagram picture. Recently, we held a portrait photography competition, attracting a wide variety of submissions, many shot on Mi 6 with our flagship dual-camera setup. Photographer An Shenlyu won the competition with his photography series called “A Love Dream.” We spoke with him after his win about what inspires him and his experience using Mi 6’s camera.

Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m an independent photographer based in Shenzhen. I’m good at creating artistic portraits and I like building dreams by using photography to show my fantasies and dreams.

How did you become a photographer? How would you describe your style?

Two years ago, I began to take photos to keep a record of my life. Gradually it grew into an indispensable habit. When I get old, these photos can remind me of my past moments and emotions.

Speaking of photography style, I like emotional and touching images that can inspire me like poems and paintings can. I want my photos to mimic the colors and forms of oil paintings.

What do you think are the main reasons that your photography series, “A Love Dream,” won our competition?

Luck, I should say, because many photographers I admire also joined this competition. Another reason would be my style and attention to detail. I’ve been trying to put unrelated things together in the same scene and make them look comfortable and coordinated. To achieve this harmony, I need DIY tools and garments at the scene. For this series, I needed a cloth curtain in the middle of the water.To work out this effect, I used a wooden structure to fix the curtain. Additionally, the lanterns, oil paper umbrellas and other garments all took a lot of effort.

An Shenlyu shooting “A Love Dream”

How did you conceptualize the idea for “A Love Dream”?

My original idea for “A Love Dream” was to transform a dream scene into a reality, where a beautiful woman leans on a tree in the middle of a sea. Many people living in big cities like being close to nature, as it provides a change from their typical view of skyscrapers out the window. The photos were taken in a famous tourist destination in Dali, Yunnan, where trees grow in the vast waters. I had to wait for a sunny day to shoot the photos because sunshine defines the style, and if you take the photos on a gloomy day, it would completely change the feel and style of the photo.

Different from design, for which post-production is crucial, I think the most important part in photography is the content. Developing and executing creative ideas are crucial to me. I often watch movies, listen to music and see good exhibitions where I am inspired. Usually I first come up with a point, which then evolves into an image. Then I prepare tools and garments, contact models, check the weather forecast and pick a day for shooting.

What do you think are the key factors for portraits?

This is a rather complicated question. You need to pour your emotions into your photos, so that people can feel the resonance of emotion, even if they don’t know the person in the photo. A photo without emotion is just an ordinary photo and can’t be considered art.

Another important thing is that I love nature. When I come across a beautiful place, I imagine someone standing in the environment. I observe the natural light and figure out the best time, the best clothes, and the best tools and garments for shooting.

Tell us your feelings about Mi 6. Does it make photo shooting easier for you?

Mi 6 provided a good user experience. I appreciate the slogan “Picture Perfect Dual Camera. Its 4-axis OIS makes shooting easier. The sunlight was very strong on the day I shot “A Love Dream,” but the photos were still well exposed. In general, I like Mi 6’s color quality and its ability to capture an environment truthfully.


Can you share a few photo-taking tips with our Mi Fans?

For non-professionals, I think good photography composition is half the success of a nice photo. Photography composition is like the frame of a house. If the framework is good, the house will not look bad regardless of its decorations. The other half includes light, colors and theme, which can be improved through practice.

I often watch movies to learn from their composition and artistic practices. I also see a lot of good photography work, almost on a daily basis. After seeing enough beautiful things, your aesthetic and tastes will naturally improve.

*All the photos in this post are contributed by An Shenlyu. 

Kids Are the Future and Xiaomi Is Here to Help Motivate Them

Technology is greatly influencing the way children learn and play.

Over the decades, smart toys have grown from a niche industry to a profitable business. According to UK-based analyst firm Juniper Research, annual smart toy sales across the globe are expected to grow to $11.3 billion by 2020. Today, toy stores not only have an array of classic board games and stuffed animals but also internet-connected devices, smart racing cars and drones, smart building blocks, and even robots that teach kids how to code.

We saw an opportunity to combine education and play with our Mi Robot Builder, a building and coding robotic toy, which allows kids to develop their own codes and build different models using creative thinking. Our Mi Robot Builder, recently made available on Amazon, is one of our newest additions to the smart toy market.

The Mi Robot Builder is manufactured by one of our Mi Ecosystem companies, Aiqi, which focuses on smart hardware and robotic products. The lead designer at Aiqi graduated from California College of the Arts and he has amassed a design team that comes with decades of experience in the traditional building block toy industry.

For kids who love robotics, this toy is indeed a treat. It comes with 978 bricks made from a mechanical transmission structure to ensure effective movement and action. It can be remotely controlled by the Mi Robot Builder app via Bluetooth. By simply dragging and dropping complex command codes to the robot from the connected smartphone, kids can command the robot in three different control settings – joystick, gyroscope and route control –  and can also create their own set of instructions for the robot to follow.

The Mi Robot Builder can be compiled into different models including a robot, a dinosaur, and an airplane. Each model can reach its self-balance, thanks to an intelligent CPU processor that is developed through a series of balanced algorithms at the heart of the product, allowing the robot to always stay upright and perform perfectly coordinated actions, whether at a standstill or on the move. The robot also comes with four USB type-C ports, which provide power to the robot and support scalable components up to 3 kg in weight.

The high-power motor, in addition to a built-in photoelectric encoder, allows the robot to have accurate speed and direction. As a result, if motor stalling occurs, a protection mode is automatically triggered to prevent the motor from overstraining.

Mi Robot Builder inspires kids to be creative thinkers and builders. It is our hope that this early introduction to technology and problem-solving will allow kids to find a passion for science and technology at an early age, allowing them to realize that the power to create is within them.

【News】Xiaomi announces Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus starting at RMB 799

Available in China starting 12 December, these feature-packed smartphones bring full screen display innovations to the sub-RMB 1000 category

BEIJING, 7 December 2017 — Global technology leader Xiaomi today brought its full screen display innovations to the sub-RMB 1000 category with the release of two smartphones—Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus.

With beautifully designed 18:9 screens with rounded display corners, these two models are powered by Qualcomm’s 14nm eight-core processors. They sport large pixel (1.25μm) sensors for the main camera, front Selfie-light, as well as long-lasting batteries. Priced from RMB 999, both versions will go on sale starting 12 December.

18:9 display with rounded corners

With 5.7-inch and 5.99-inch 18:9 displays that take up almost the entire front surface, Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus provide a much larger viewing area compared with traditional 16:9 screen displays. This gives a better user experience whether users are reading news, editing spreadsheets, or playing games on a smartphone.

In addition, Redmi 5/Redmi 5 Plus have screens with rounded display corners and are designed with close attention to symmetry, delivering a stunning appearance. They also feature a four-sided curved design that gives users amazing hand-feel.

Large 1.25μm pixels and front LED Selfie-light for natural, well-exposed photos

Redmi 5/Redmi 5 Plus come with rear cameras sporting large 1.25μm-pixel sensors. The larger the pixels, the more light a sensor can capture, giving better image quality even in situations when lighting conditions are not perfect.

The front Selfie-light on Redmi 5/Redmi 5 Plus allows users to capture beautiful selfies even in low-light conditions. With an always-on mode, this also works when shooting videos. Combined with Xiaomi’s Beautify 3.0, Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus deliver flattering and natural selfies.

Long battery life and MIUI 9 enhancements

Battery life is one of the most important features on the Redmi series, and Redmi 5/Redmi 5 Plus continue this tradition with a built-in 3300/4000 mAh battery. The power-efficient 14nm Qualcomm Snapdragon chipsets, coupled with enhancements in MIUI 9, give Redmi 5 Plus a standby time of up to 17 days.

Flagship-level testing standards

Xiaomi’s Redmi series is widely recognized for high quality, a result of various factors including the use of best-in-class suppliers, and extremely stringent reliability tests comparable to those used for flagship devices.

One example of Xiaomi’s dedication to introducing the highest quality features on all its devices is a design tailored to buffer the impact of any fall in the new Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus smartphones. With a reinforced structure, the likelihood of a broken screen is reduced in cases when a user drops the smartphone, landing corner first.  Furthermore, enhancements to the earpiece, including an additional waterproof layer, help protect Redmi 5 and Redmi 5 Plus from sweat and dust, reducing the likelihood of the call volume dropping over time.

Redmi 5 (2GB+16 GB) and Redmi 5 (3GB+32GB) will be available for RMB 799 and RMB 899 respectively. Redmi 5 Plus (3GB+32GB) will retail for RMB 999, and Redmi 5 Plus (4GB+64GB) for RMB 1299. They will be available in China on Mi.com, Mi Home stores, as well as Xiaomi’s flagship online stores on Tmall and JD.com starting 12 December.

【News】Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun makes special appearance at Qualcomm’s second annual Snapdragon Technology Summit Keynote

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Nine New Features of MIUI 9

In early November, we announced MIUI 9 Global ROM. As has been the case with every iteration of MIUI, MIUI 9 brings add-ons and features that strive to make the experience of using a smartphone even better.

There’s a long list of changes that we’ve made and features that we’ve added to make MIUI 9 an even better experience.  Let’s talk about the top nine features of MIUI 9 that make it stand out among the rest.

1. Lightning fast system 

Our main focus while designing MIUI 9 was to make it fast and minimize the number of unnecessary steps users have to take. A lot of effort went into optimizing the system so the UI is responsive, apps load quickly and these apps are easy to switch between. Additionally, we ensured that the system remains stable and is power efficient.

2. Changes in notification shade

When speaking of smartphone usage experience, notifications are one of the most important aspects. Addressing key learnings from our previous MIUI systems, we made notifications easier to deal with in MIUI 9’s notification shade. Information is now presented in a more concise manner with all notifications grouped on a by-app basis to reduce clutter.

3. Animated icons, UI changes and a fresh look

We think MIUI is probably the most easy-on-the-eye operating system. To make it even better, we’ve made changes to the user interface by adding fresh colors, smoother animations, and multiple animated icons to ensure that phone use is a streamlined and enjoyable experience.

4. App vault

App vault is another feature we’ve designed to improve the user experience after studying the way people interact with their smartphones. App vault allows users to add cards, such as Google Now, Notes, popular app shortcuts and more, on a screen that will stay just one swipe away from one’s home screen for easy accessibility.

5. Revamped Gallery app

MIUI Gallery is already a much-loved app, but we’ve revamped it to make it more powerful and easier to use through sorting and back-up photo features. However, the focus of the MIUI Gallery on MIUI 9 is its powerful editing options that allow you to tweak images on a professional scale.

6. Notification filter

With MIUI 7, we announced the Smart SMS Filter, which received accolades from users across the world. With MIUI 9, we thought of taking this one step further by integrating our smart filtering mechanisms to the notification panel, allowing important notifications to stay at the top of the notification panel and not get lost in the clutter.

7. Mi Drop app

User feedback helped us determine that the Mi Drop app would be useful to those outside of the MIUI system, so anyone using an Android smartphone can exchange large files quickly and conveniently. So, we revamped Mi Drop and packaged it into a separate app that anyone can download from the Play Store.

8. Split screen

With the number of apps escalating, we realized it makes sense to offer users the ability to have app windows from two different programs on the same screen. Thus, we announced Split screen, allowing users to deal with two apps at once. The size of each window can also be customized according to preference.

9. Quick silent switch

As mentioned before, one aspect of a good user experience is how quickly (and in how many steps) a desired action can be performed. Quick silent switch on MIUI 9 will allow users to switch to a silent profile in just two steps — press volume down and then tap on the Quick Silent Switch. Users can also choose to set a timeframe for the mode if desired.