The AI powered Mi MIX 2S – with an S for smarter

Smartphones are becoming even more integrated into our everyday lives with new and developing Artificial Intelligence-powered features. We leveraged our expertise in AI, cloud computing and big data to improve the IQ of our smartphones. Our newest smartphone, Mi MIX 2S includes exciting AI-powered features for photography, face detection, voice recognition and more.

This update from the award-winning Mi MIX 2 is a reflection of our exploration and growth in the area of AI. The powerful Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 platform supports advanced on-device AI processing, with optimized CPU and GPU, achieving a 300% improvement in AI performance compared to its predecessor.

Let’s dive deeper into the amazing on-device AI features in Mi MIX 2S.

The AI-powered “mind” of Mi MIX 2S in photography

The dual camera on Mi MIX 2S is able to make photos look better without you having to take any action, because of the AI scene detection that automatically offers retouching effects. This function works for the primary rear camera, as well as the single front camera.

When taking a portrait, for example, Mi MIX 2S quickly identifies the human face and most of the surrounding objects to automatically apply different effects to each item, according to the specific conditions.

In the photos above, you can see that the AI scene detection (photo on the right) makes the buildings brighter while the environment around them is more saturated, rendering a vivid and balanced output. Usually, non-AI supported smartphones can only adjust the brightness of the whole photo, beautifying the main object, but at the same time, losing minute details.

Moreover, AI deep learning helps the camera accurately detect the edge of the subject, creating a depth-of-field effect. It can also recognize small details, such as hair accessories, detect the edge of the accessories and keep them from being blurred, generating a more realistic bokeh result.

The AI scene detection also works great for backlight and scenery photos, offering a filter-like effect in high-contrast environments. 

AI voice assistant – a phone that understands you better 

Apart from AI photography, the intelligent Mi MIX 2S has built-in features including the Xiao AI voice assistant, which is integrated in our Mi AI Speaker that was announced in July 2017.

In just eight months, “Xiao Ai” has been summoned 1.1 billion times, activated 11 million times daily, and commanded smart device features 310,000 times. Mi AI Speaker has become the hub of a smart home supporting over 40 different products.

The built-in AI voice recognition in Mi MIX 2S can understand more than 100 commands in six categories, including system control, lifestyle, smart home, social, entertainment and knowledge.

You can ask your phone to show your photos taken last October, text your friend, and check the weather, just to name a few examples. If you have a smart home, it can control smart devices that are integrated into the Mi Home app, such as Mi TV and Mi Bedside Lamp.

With an improved AI performance, Mi MIX 2S can understand you better and make your life more convenient and efficient. We are excited to bring our enhanced AI technology to more users around the world, and open more possibilities for a ‘smarter’ life in the future.

[news] Xiaomi unveils Mi MIX 2S, an elegant work of art with a dual camera

 Also announces Mi Gaming Laptop 15.6’’ and Mi AI Speaker mini

SHANGHAI, China, 27 March 2018 — Global technology leader Xiaomi announced Mi MIX 2S today, a beautiful work of art that now comes with an exceptional AI dual camera and is powered by the latest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 platform. Xiaomi also upped its game in another key product line with the Mi Gaming Laptop 15.6’’. At the same time, it also announced a mini version of its wildly-popular Mi AI Speaker.

Mi MIX 2S uses the latest Sony IMX363 flagship sensor for its dual-camera setup, with 1.4μm pixels for significantly better photos in low light, and Dual Pixel technology for super fast autofocusing. Mi MIX 2S also now comes with integrated AI features, including a built-in AI voice assistant to control the smartphone and smart home appliances. With up to 8GB RAM and 256GB ROM, Mi MIX 2S unleashes the full potential of the latest Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 for amazing performance.

Lei Jun, CEO and co-founder of Xiaomi, said: “The Mi MIX series has constantly pushed boundaries, defying everyone’s expectations about smartphone design and performance, and showcasing how Xiaomi is committed to being at the forefront of innovation. Mi MIX 2S now comes with a powerful dual camera and integrated AI features for an experience on the move like no other.”

Mi MIX 2S continues Xiaomi’s commitment to making its innovations accessible to the widest possible range of consumers. Starting from RMB 3299, Mi MIX 2S will be available in China from 3 April onwards and will make its way to selected global markets at a later date.

Design: A work of art in the smartphone industry

The unique design elements in the Mi MIX series have been recognized by some of the world’s most prestigious design awards and museums: National Design Museum in Finland, Center Pompidou in France, and Die Neue Sammlung in Germany, in some cases, marking the first time a phone has been added to their permanent collection. Mi MIX 2S continues evolving this design language, with a beautiful ceramic back that features a four-sided curved design, transitioning smoothly into the aluminum frame.

Dual Pixel AI dual camera

Mi MIX 2S adopts the Sony IMX363 flagship sensor with 1.4μm pixels for its dual camera setup, letting in more light and resulting in significantly improved photos in low light and backlit scenarios. This sensor also uses the Dual Pixel technology, which was first used in high-end digital SLRs for much faster focusing due to having two photodiodes per pixel to calculate the light hitting the sensor. Combined with the noise reduction technology on the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 platform, Mi MIX 2S is able to shoot high-quality pictures in a low-light environment with fast and accurate focusing.

DxOMark—the leading and trusted source in the industry for camera and lens image quality measurements and ratings—gave Mi MIX 2S a 101 photo rating, the second-highest ever photo score for a smartphone camera.

The integration of AI technology has also significantly enhanced the photo experience on Mi MIX 2S. With AI scene detection, the camera can intelligently optimize the image after it has been taken—for example, text on presentation slides can be identified so it remains clear even if you zoom in.

Through a machine learning model based on hundreds of thousands of self-portraits, Mi MIX 2S is able to accurately distinguish between the subject and background, enabling precise background blurring. Users can then add dynamic bokeh to the photos taken in portrait mode, selecting from six effects in total.

Latest flagship Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845chipset 

Mi MIX 2S uses the Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 chipset, manufactured using the latest generation 10nm process. With a maximum clock speed of 2.8GHz, the new Kryo 385 cores see a 30 percent performance increase over the last generation. Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 also features the new Adreno 630 graphics, which gives up to 30 percent higher performance and up to 30 percent lower power consumption. In addition, Qualcomm® Snapdragon™ 845 also features cutting-edge on-device AI processing, delivering 3x improvement in overall AI performance compared to the prior generation.

With up to 8GB RAM and 256GB storage, Mi MIX 2S achieved a score of 277,178 on the Antutu benchmark. Connectivity-wise, Mi MIX 2S (8GB + 256GB) supports 43 global bands so you can use it anywhere in the world.

AI voice assistant and wireless charging, for a more convenient lifestyle

Mi MIX 2S also now comes with AI-integrated features, including a built-in AI voice assistant to control the smartphone and smart home appliances. Covering six categories with nearly a hundred voice commands, users can remotely control their smart home appliances, or find a photo based on location or time, with just a simple voice command.

On 23 February 2018, Xiaomi announced that it became one of Google’s ARCore partners. Mi MIX 2S is now Xiaomi’s first device to support ARCore apps, bringing an amazing AR experience to more Android users both in China and globally. “The Machines”, which has been touted as the future of AR games, is making its exclusive Android debut on Xiaomi.

Mi MIX 2S also supports 7.5W fast wireless charging. Along with this, Xiaomi is launching a RMB 99 (US$16) wireless charging pad, which is bundled with the the 8GB+256GB version, or available as a separate accessory.

Mi MIX 2S is available in 6GB+64GB, 6GB+128GB and 8GB+256GB for RMB 3299, RMB 3599, and RMB 3999 respectively. It will be available starting 3 April at 10am from a range of retail channels including Mi.com and our Mi Home stores.

Xiaomi’s first high-performance gaming laptop with minimalist design

Equipped with Intel’s 7th generation Core processors, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, 16GB dual channel DDR4 RAM, and 256GB SSD + 1TB hard drive, Xiaomi’s first gaming notebook Mi Gaming Laptop 15.6” delivers powerful performance for users’ work and entertainment needs.

Mi Gaming Laptop has a minimalist design, along with a keyboard that supports 16 million colors over four zones, and anti-ghosting with 30-key rollover for precise and accurate gaming input. Five programmable keys are located on the left side for quick access to important functions. For great performance even during long gaming sessions, it comes with large heat pipes, a 12V cooling fan and four fan outlets for effective heat dissipation.

Available in China starting 13 April, Mi Gaming Laptop will retail starting from RMB 5999, going up to RMB 8999 for the version with Core i7+GTX 1060+16GB.

Mi AI Speaker mini: a compact version for every room

Mi AI Speaker, launched last year, was a testament to Xiaomi’s commitment to exploring AI technology. The mini version announced today, which will retail for RMB 169 starting 3 April, continues in the same direction. It serves as a smart home assistant and a personal assistant, and allows users to easily tune in to music and listen to audiobooks with simple voice commands.

Why Redmi Note 5 will quickly become your favorite smartphone camera

Today we launched Redmi Note 5 in China, the counterpart of Redmi Note 5 Pro that recently launched in India. Not only is Redmi Note 5 China’s first smartphone to incorporate the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 processor, but the device also stands out for its stellar camera. Featuring a dual camera setup, a large 1.4μm-pixel sensor, 2PD (dual photodiode) autofocus, AI camera features and an LED Selfie light for its front camera, Redmi Note 5 is a powerful device that takes amazing photos anywhere, at any time.

Whether you’re a social media maven, casual creator, or professional photographer, here are a few reasons why Redmi Note 5 will quickly become your favorite smartphone camera.

12MP+5MP rear dual camera setup

Redmi Note 5 sports a 12MP+5MP rear dual camera, in which the 12MP serves as the primary sensor, while the 5MP secondary rear camera is used for capturing depth. Together, they create a more convincing bokeh effect.

Large pixel size for high quality images, even in low light conditions

It’s widely known that more pixels make for a better photo – but many people don’t realize pixel size also has an effect on image quality. Larger pixels capture more light, especially in low light conditions, yielding higher ISO performance, less noise, better image quality and more room to maneuver.

The 12MP sensor on Redmi Note 5 features large 1.4μm pixels – a standout feature for better camera performance that’s only available on a handful of flagship smartphones.

Dual Photodiode or 2PD for faster autofocus

For the first time, the dual photodiode or 2PD — a technology commonly seen in professional dSLR cameras, is integrated on a Xiaomi smartphone. This significantly improves the speed and accuracy of autofocus on Redmi Note 5, reducing the risk of the subject being out of focus, especially in low light conditions.

A photodiode is a semiconductor fitted into each pixel of the sensor for detecting and receiving light. 2PD means that every single pixel on the camera sensor of the 12MP prime is split into two photodiodes — 24 million in total for phase detection.

Redmi Note 5 combines 2PD and a large 1.4μm-pixel sensor to produce high quality photos with less noise and vivid colors. Its large 1.4μm-pixel sensor collects more light so you can speed up the shutter, while the 2PD system identifies the subject quickly and accurately. For example, when taking indoor photos of children playing, you need fast shutter speed and reliable autofocus to catch those magical moments.

Better selfies regardless of light

To further enhance the photography experience, Redmi Note 5 also sports a 13MP front sensor with our Beautify 4.0 AI algorithm and front Selfie-light, allowing users to take better selfies than ever before – even in low-light conditions. This also marks the first time a Redmi phone has AI portrait features.

The specifications are slightly different from Redmi Note 5 Pro in India, which has a 1.25μm rear primary sensor. The reason being that the Indian version has a powerful 20MP front camera developed especially for Mi Fans in India.

We’re excited to introduce this new phone as we continue to break down barriers in what is expected for a smartphone starting from RMB 1099.

[News]Xiaomi announces Redmi Note 5 in China

Featuring flagship-level photography capabilities for great photos

BEIJING, China, 16 March 2018 — Global technology leader Xiaomi officially announced Redmi Note 5 in China today, which features flagship-level photography capabilities. With a dual camera featuring a large 1.4μm-pixel sensor, AI camera features, and an LED Selfie light for its front camera, Redmi Note 5 is a powerful device that takes amazing photos anywhere, at any time.

Redmi Note 5 also marks the debut of the Qualcomm Snapdragon 636 platform in China. It will be available in China on 20 March starting from RMB 1099.

Clearer images and faster focusing even in low light

Redmi Note 5 sports a dual camera setup, a combination usually adopted only in flagship smartphones. The main 12-megapixel sensor features large 1.4μm pixels, which can capture more light and deliver better results under low-light conditions.

The camera is also armed with 2PD (dual photodiode) autofocus — a technology commonly seen in professional dSLR cameras, which results in a much faster autofocus speed. Every single pixel of the main 12-megapixel sensor contains two photodiodes (which convert light into current that can be measured) – resulting in 24 million photodiodes in total, which is nearly 30 times more than the number of photodiodes of traditional PDAF-enabled sensors of the same resolution. This allows the sensor to measure phase differences effectively, improving Redmi Note 5’s autofocus speed dramatically.

The front camera of Redmi Note 5 sports a 13-megapixel sensor, complemented by an LED Selfie light. When Portrait Mode is engaged, both the front and rear cameras come with Xiaomi’s latest Beautify 4.0 mode, which has different effects enhanced by AI calculations for a natural look similar to having an expert makeup session. Even without a second sensor, the front camera achieves a great bokeh effect in Portrait Mode thanks to AI technology that helps to isolate the subject from the background.

Redmi Note 5 also uses facial recognition for unlocking the device, which is based on AI technology, enhancing the accuracy of identification for a more secure system.

China debut of Qualcomm Snapdragon 636

Redmi Note 5 uses Qualcomm’s latest Snapdragon 636 platform based on the 14nm manufacturing process. Its Kryo 260 architecture, 1.8GHz maximum clock speed, and the Adreno 509 GPU ensure amazing performance. Compared to Qualcomm Snapdragon 625, Snapdragon 636 has a 40 percent increase in performance — gamers can enjoy demanding 3D games on Redmi Note 5 with no worries.

Redmi Note 5 is the first device in the Redmi family to use up to 6GB of LPDDR4X RAM, usually only found on flagship devices. With more RAM, Redmi Note 5 can run more apps simultaneously and switch between programs even more smoothly.

Other features of Redmi Note 5 include a 5.99 inch FHD+ 18:9 full screen, large 4000mAh battery and support for fast charging. Equipped with the latest MIUI 9 operating system, Redmi Note 5 also comes with full screen display gestures so users can maximize the display area by completely hiding the navigation bar.

Redmi Note 5 comes in three versions: 3GB + 32GB, 4GB + 64GB and 6GB + 64GB, at RMB 1099, RMB 1399 and RMB 1699 respectively. It is available in four colors — Lake blue, Rose gold, Gold and Black. A simple and elegant TPU case will be included in the box with every Redmi Note 5.

Redmi Note 5 is the counterpart of Redmi Note 5 Pro, first launched in India in February. Redmi Note 5 features slight differences in specifications, and it will be available globally at a later date, with details in local markets to be announced individually.

After crossing RMB 100B revenue milestone, a new journey for Xiaomi begins in 2018

This is Lei Jun‘s letter to all employees at our year-end gala, our most important annual event.

Dear Xiaomi colleagues,

Happy New Year!

2017 has been an extraordinary year for Xiaomi. It was a “turnaround year”, but more importantly a “leapfrog year” — a critical year in breaking new ground for our future as we embark on a new journey.

  1. Crossing the RMB 100B revenue threshold

In October 2017, we exceeded the revenue goal of RMB 100 billion set at the beginning of the year. I checked — and found out that to achieve this milestone, Apple took 20 years, Facebook took 12 years, Google took nine years, Alibaba took 17 years, Tencent took 17 years, Huawei took 21 years.

Xiaomi has taken only slightly over seven years. We are very likely to enter the Fortune Global 500 list of companies this year.

  1. Three reasons for the successful rebound in smartphone sales

Due to the improvement of our turnover capabilities, our global shipments have improved significantly since Q2 2017 — Xiaomi is back in the top 5 smartphone brands. As per IDC, we have become the world’s #4 smartphone brand in Q4 2017 in terms of shipments. Even with the overall smartphone market declining 6.3%, we managed to maintain a year-on-year growth of 96.9% — Xiaomi was the only brand with continuous growth, demonstrating the support and recognition we received from our users.

How did Xiaomi achieve this turnaround? This is because we use a telescope to look at innovation, and a microscope to examine product quality. Innovation determines how high we can fly, while product quality determines how far we can go.

1) Relentless pursuit of technology innovations, release of Surge S1 and leading the smartphone industry with Mi MIX 2

Xiaomi is driven by an engineering culture and innovation is in our DNA. In 2017 we grew from focusing our innovations on single products to a more systematic approach.

Early last year, Xiaomi launched our first chipset Surge S1 and successfully put it into mass production. We became the fourth company in the world with the ability to design and manufacture both chipsets and smartphones.

In Q3 last year, we launched Mi MIX 2, becoming a leader in the full screen display era, while the industry continues to follow this trend closely. It is the first time a Chinese consumer technology industry is leading the world’s evolution of technology.

Meanwhile, we’ve built the world’s biggest IoT platform with many advanced smart devices in our ecosystem and continuous investment in cloud services. We are also among the first to launch AI products in China.

So far, we have applied for more than 24,000 patents globally with 5920 of them granted, among which half are global patents.

2) Firm focus on quality, showing significant improvement

Quality is the lifeline of our company’s development. In early 2017, Xiaomi set up its Quality Control Committee with me as chairman. The quality of Xiaomi’s products and services is the most important mission of the company and we will improve product quality regardless of cost.

After a year’s efforts, our quality has improved significantly based on our original standards and these efforts have been widely recognized. Recently, Xiaomi was among the top ten in the “Made in China 2025” quality award, and I was also honored to receive a Quality personality award and was elected as Deputy Chairman of the China Quality Committee.

3) Rapid growth in our global business, with Xiaomi becoming #1 in India and global markets flourishing

We are present in 70 countries and regions so far globally and became top five in 16 markets. India is an extraordinary example. According to multiple research firms, starting Q3 last year, our smartphone market share in India has become number one. Also, with Indonesia representing Southeast Asia, Russia representing Eastern Europe, and Spain representing Western Europe, all our markets have shown strong growth.

  1. Bumper crop of design awards

Good design is a key part of the user experience, and right from the start, it has been an important focus for Xiaomi. In fact, two of our co-founders come from a background of industrial design and have extensive experience in the field. Our ongoing investment in design was greatly recognized in 2017 when we received a host of design awards, including four major awards (IDEA Gold, iF Gold, Red Dot Best of the Best, Good Design Best 100). Led by Mi MIX and Mi MIX 2, five Xiaomi smartphones bagged international design awards. The Mi MIX series was even displayed as exhibits by a range of top museums including Centre Pompidou in France, Finland’s Design Museum and Germany’s Die Neue Sammlung.

Our success comes from the core of our business model: Winning the lasting trust of our users

Amidst the difficulties and challenges we faced, we still achieved amazing results. This victory is possible only because of the effort that our 18,000 employees have put in, the unrelenting support of our Mi Fans, and ultimately Xiaomi’s business model and values.

2017 holds a deeper meaning for us — alongside our miraculous comeback, doubts about our business model have been entirely crushed. Our business model has been thoroughly tested and we have gained a lot of confidence that we are on the right path, with the right values and the right culture.

We believe that rather than pursuing short-term gains in terms of hardware profit, making sure that our products have a good user experience will enable us to succeed in the long term. Instead of many layers in the distribution channel adding multiple costs to a product, honest pricing will win our users’ hearts. As long as we continue delivering products that are innovative, powerful, with high quality and great design, and with an honest price tag, we can win the lasting trust of our users.

And winning the lasting trust of our users is the most important thing to us. Some users have said that they can walk into a Xiaomi store, close their eyes and buy anything, because they are confident that our products offer the best quality and price. This is a really strong affirmation for us as this is exactly the ultimate goal we are pursuing. By continuing to win the trust of our users, our users will choose our products without thinking twice, and our highly efficient business model can be truly realized.

A new journey in 2018: Expanding around the world and staging a comeback in China

2018 marks the start of a new journey for Xiaomi, and it is bound to be a magnificent year. We have built a solid foundation over the last seven years, and we will ride on this momentum for greater expansion, growth and quality improvement.

While continuing to focus on technology innovation and quality improvement, we will also put in a lot of effort in our overseas expansion. In 2017, I went to India three times, Indonesia twice and Vietnam once, and I saw huge and exciting opportunities wherever I went.

We have entered more than 70 markets globally and established a leading position in many of them. But this is just a start. There is still a lot of room for growth in the markets we are present in, and we have yet to enter many more markets around the globe. Overseas markets represent huge opportunities for us and we need to give more support in terms of strategy, resources, and localized product development, as well as send more of our employees out to the rest of the world.

On the domestic front, we have to start a full counter-attack and accumulate small successes into a full victory, sparing no effort to ensure that we have the ultimate victory in 2019.

In 2018, the Chinese smartphone market is poised to experience a decline for the first time after more than a decade of growth. The market is consolidating while the competition  becomes more and more brutal. There is no turning back for us and we have to charge forward. The Chinese market is Xiaomi’s foundation. It is the biggest consumer electronics market in the world and the most competitive one. Only by winning in the domestic market  can we have enough support for global expansion. Only by winning in China, can we win in the rest of the world.

So this year I am setting a new goal: We will regain the #1 position in China within 10 quarters.

In this battle, we should move firmly forward and set up command center at the front line. We cannot afford to lose any province, city, county and community. We should remain brave and alert, and fight to the end.

This requires us to have strong management and organizational capabilities on all fronts. So from now on, we will nurture and promote a fleet of young and capable managers, creating a more dynamic and progressive team. We will make sure that capable, ambitious, aggressive and daring talent can learn how to fight and grow rapidly.

To everyone at Xiaomi, thank you all for your continued hard work! I hope you grasp all the opportunities in this great era and bravely shoulder your responsibilities. Let us embrace the great opportunities and challenges, and have the ambition to build a great business! Let us take on the mission of delivering innovation to everyone in the world, and write a new chapter in Xiaomi’s journey!

Lei Jun

2/7/2018

Capture the world through new lenses

Are you getting a little bored of your 4:3, 16:9 or even 18:9 camera frames that provide a limited view of the world you are trying to capture? 360-degree cameras can represent a scene in an entirely new way, enabling the viewer to capture a greater range and sensory experience.

Among the many products in this rapidly growing photography category, Mi Sphere Camera is an well rounded, accessible device that elevates the user experience from just seeing the world in the front to the entire scenario of that location.

“A 360-degree camera is an important tool that allows consumers to make their own VR content,” said Huang Yetao, founder of MadV, the manufacturer of Mi Sphere Camera. (MadV is one of Xiaomi’s Mi Ecosystem companies.)

In addition to capturing 360-degree still photos, Mi Sphere Camera also allows users to record amazing panoramic videos at high speeds. Its six-axis electronic image stabilization corrects movement while skiing, skydiving, bungee jumping, or any other high-speed actions. It also has a 1600mAH battery, which is higher in capacity than many other products in its price category. The powerful battery supports up to 75 minutes of 4K video on a single charge during normal temperature conditions.

To accommodate the adventurer who uses the Mi Sphere Camera, the unit is water and dust proof, and can withstand being immersed in 1m of water for up to 30 minutes.

The size is also an important attribute as the Mi Sphere Camera was designed for individuals who are often carrying a lot of equipment. In fact, the thinnest part of the Mi Sphere Camera is only 12mm, making it easy to transport and store as well.

With such specifications, users can focus on reaching the next peak, pushing their limits or exploring a new city knowing that their camera will capture each adventure to the fullest.

Comparison  

Life in 360, a YouTube channel focused on 360 photography, created a video comparing the 4K video effects of Mi Sphere Camera, INSTA One and Theta V — three popular consumer-level 360-degree cameras. After changing locations and light conditions with the three units, the reviewer found that Mi Sphere Camera did a great job in stitching and stabilization, and just as well as the others when it comes to the quality of 4K videos.

Below are the key specifications of the three 360-cameras portrayed in the video:

Device name Theta V INSTA 360 One Mi Sphere Camera
Image resolution 5376 x 2688 6912 x 3456 6912 x 3456
Video resolution 3840×1920@30fps 3840×1920@30fps 3456 x 1728@30fps
Size 45.2 x 130.6 x 22.9mm 96 x 36.5 x 25mm 78 x 67.40 x 12.00mm
Battery life Supports up to 40 minutes 4K video 820mAH 1600mAH
Image stabilization Not supportive Electronic image stabilization Six-axis electronic image stabilization
Water-proof Not supportive Not supportive IP67 water/dust-proof
Price $375.99 $299 $299.99

 

Mi Sphere Camera is now available for U.S consumers to purchase on Amazon, creating an opportunity for the beautiful moments in life to be captured in an entirely new way.

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. 

【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.